Real salted caramel requires patience, dexterity and a sugar-thermometer, none of which come naturally to me, but a salted caramel sauce can be rustled up in a matter of moments. True, in those moments you wouldn’t want to walk away from the stove, but the saucepan provides captivating enough watching to make that agreeable.
I have given a range of quantities for the salt, but I tell you now that I go for the full whack. It might be wise to start off with half a teaspoon and add more to the finished sauce as needed, bearing in mind that the colder this is served the more the flavours will be muted and therefore need bolstering….
Final note: I use unsalted butter as was told when young that salt is added to inferior butter to mask any rancidity or unpleasant flavours and also because I prefer to be in control of salinity myself.
- 75g best quality unsalted butter
- 50 g soft light brown sugar
- 50 g caster Sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- 125ml double cream
- half to one-and-a-half teaspoons fleur de sel
Step 1: Melt butter, sugars and syrup and butter in a small heavy based pan and let simmer for 3 minutes, swirling every now and again.
Step 2: Add cream and half a teaspoon of fleur de sel salt (not table salt!) and swirl again, give a stir with a wooden spoon and taste – go cautiously so that you don’t burn your tongue – to see if you want more salt before letting it cook for another minute on the stove, then pour into a jug for serving.
Now you’ve got your sauce, you’re ready to take your next steps: eating it. My suggestions are as follows: In the first instance, and for ease, just dribble it over vanilla ice cream. But next up, please consider adding a warm brownie (regular, not the bacon ones) to this pairing. Or drizzle over chocolate melting-bellied fondant puddings or chocolate cake. Or pour over clotted cream and Christmas pud (and see below). But it is not just this realm that welcomes the sauce: it makes a divine and rakishly chic accompaniment to apple crumble, apple cake or simple baked apple.