It’s really useful to know how to make direct caramel in the pastry and desserts world. It’s used for many different recipes and adds that lovely caramel-y taste to dishes. That’s why here I’ll be showing you how to make a direct caramel and turn it into a salted caramel sauce.
It’s pretty quick to make direct caramel and useful as well. Many times we use it to cover a pan before assembling a dessert. That’s the case of my crema volteada (a version of a flan) and my apple millefeuille. Also, with a direct caramel, you can make praline with any nut and of course, also salted caramel sauce. For the direct caramel to work for you, it’s important to use a very clean pan. If the pan has a bit of fat or impurities, it could make your caramel crystalize. That’s also why it’s best if you don’t use any utensil to stir the caramel as it forms. It’s best to hold the pan or pot by the handle and tilt it to mix in any lump. It also helps to have a light-coloured pan to have control over the amount of caramelization and prevent it from burning.
I love salted caramel because it really balances out flavours! I used it before in my mini blondie cheesecakes and it’s so good. To make it you just need to add cream and salt to a direct caramel and give it a good mix. Here are a few tips you might want to consider:
- Heat up your cream. This way, when you add it to the caramel, it will be much easier for them to mix. If the cream is cold, you’ll have small caramel lumps in your sauce.
- Be really careful because caramel is extremely hot, even if it doesn’t look like it. To make the sauce, use a pan or pot with high sides so that it doesn’t spill everywhere. This is because it bubbles up a lot when you add the cream.
- Don’t let the caramel sauce boil for too long or it could thicken too much. If when it cools down you see that it’s too thick, you can warm it up and correct with a bit of boiling water.
For the salted caramel
- 200 g sugar
- 150 g whipping cream warm
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 20 g unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes (optional, adds shine)
For the salted caramel
- Make a thin layer of sugar on a pan and put it on medium heat. As some spots start to melt cover them with a thin layer of sugar. Continue until you have used up all the sugar in the recipe.
- Let it become a nice pale gold colour and don't use any utensil to mix at this point, only move around the sugar by tilting the pan. Voilá! You've made direct caramel.
- Once golden, add the cream and salt and stir vigorously. Be really careful because it's really hot and it will bubble up.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and stir. Let it cool down completely.
- If it's too thick, you can adjust the texture by warming it up and adding a bit of boiling water.