This is a rich, versatile caramel sauce that makes a great topping for ice cream and is perfect for drizzling over all kinds of desserts. The salt is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the caramel.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a heavy-bottomed, medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Make sure that all the sugar has been hydrated, so it feels like wet sand. Try to avoid getting the sugar mixture on the sides of the pot. Measure out cream and salt and place them near the stove. Also have a container of cold water and a pastry brush nearby.
Heat the sugar over medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture or jostle the pan. Periodically, use the pastry brush and water to thoroughly wash down any excess sugar from the sides of the pan to prevent crystallization.
The sugar mixture will dissolve and start to boil. Continue to boil for 10-15 minutes, watching it carefully. It will start to turn golden, then start to turn amber. As soon as it begins to smoke (don't wait, or it will burn) turn off the heat, stand back, and carefully pour 1/3 of the cream into the pan. The mixture will sputter and spatter, take care to avoid getting splashed—caramel is dangerously hot! Once the sputtering has died down, and another third, wait again, and add the last third. Once the bubbling stops, whisk the mixture into it is smooth and homogenous. Whisk in the salt. Pour through a strainer into a heatproof container and allow the caramel to cool for 30 minutes before using.