Caramel sauce

Caramel sauce

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Makes
500 ml
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

This results in a liquid caramel sauce, with the addition of water stopping the cooking of the caramel.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g granulated sugar
500ml water

Method

  1. Put the sugar and 250 ml of the water into a heavy-based saucepan. Place over a low heat and dissolve the sugar, using the handle of a wooden spoon to gently agitate the sugar to prevent it from ‘caking’ on the bottom of the saucepan. Try to avoid splashing syrup up the sides of the pan.
  2. After brushing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, bring the syrup to a gentle boil, without stirring, and boil until a deep golden brown colour. You may need to swirl the pan very gently from time to time, but do not stir.
  3. Immediately pour the remaining 250 ml water into the caramel, taking care as it will splutter and spit. Swirl the caramel in the pan to dissolve it properly and return it to a low heat, if necessary, until fully dissolved.
  4. Pour the caramel into a jug and cool until ready to use.

Variations

  • Lime caramel sauce: Once the remaining water has been added, stir through the finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes. Strain before use.

    Spiced caramel sauce: Add to the finished caramel: 4 bay leaves, 4 star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 pared strips of lemon zest, 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed, and a 4 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped. Leave to infuse overnight and strain before use.

    Butterscotch sauce: Make a caramel as for the main recipe but using 150 g sugar and 4 tablespoons water. When it reaches the desired caramel colour, add 150 ml double cream, in place of the water, to stop the cooking. Stir well to dissolve, then stir in 30 g unsalted butter. Makes 250 ml.

    Salted butterscotch sauce: Add ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes to the cooled butterscotch sauce and stir to combine.

Making a dry caramel

  • It is possible to make a caramel without water. It is slightly quicker as the sugar does not need dissolving and the water does not need to be evaporated, but it calls for close attention. Caster, rather than granulated sugar is preferable, as the crystals are smaller and melt more quickly.

    Sprinkle 200 g caster sugar over the entire surface of a large, clean frying pan. Ideally the sugar should be no thicker than a few millimetres to ensure even colouring. Place the pan on a low to medium heat. The heat will start to melt the sugar at the edges, but leave it undisturbed. As more and more sugar melts and takes on colour, carefully swirl the pan to encourage even browning. You may need to use a fork to gently encourage the unmelted sugar to the outside of the pan to melt, but don’t stir the sugar vigorously or it may crystallise. Eventually all the sugar should have melted and an even caramel formed. Act swiftly as the caramel will burn easily.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again