Homemade Salted Caramel

I've been wanting to make my own salted caramel for forever. And I literally mean forever. As much as I'm a major chocoholic, I really really love good salted caramel. I'm drooling just thinking about it - drizzled on ice cream, pancakes, french toast, pies, crumbles, in milkshakes, frappucinos, dipping anything and everything into it (apples, cookies, yes... spoon included!). 

After reading tons of recipes and articles that made it sound like a real art and a very difficult technique to master, I was slightly put off and well, scared, which is why it took me a while to take the plunge. Well, I finally did, and boy oh boy.... I'm so glad I did.

I'm not going to lie. I didn't get it right on the first try - the sugar burnt, and the final caramel was a chocolate brown color... NOT the way salted caramel should be. But the second batch was perfect. I'm pretty proud of myself, to be honest. Just two batches to get it right? Good job Tanvi!
My version requires no fancy ingredients and no fancy equipments - this means NO candy thermometers like the majority of recipes call for!

The ten minute process is very involved and you don't want to step away from the stove. But ten minutes of paying close attention for a jar of delicious, homemade salted caramel? It's worth it. I promise you!

If you're a caramel fan, I urge you to stop buying the pre-jarred stuff, or even worse, the stuff out of a squeezy bottle! This is SO. MUCH. BETTER.

One more thing checked off my list with this recipe - taking photos with sauce "dripping"! I had a ton of fun with my mom taking these pictures (not sure if she felt the same way!). I'm quite happy with the way they turned out, but as always, there's lots of room for improvement.
Homemade salted caramel. What are you waiting for?

1 cup granulated sugar** 
3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut in three squares from the stick 
(should be firm - from the fridge is best)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tsp sea salt (fleur de sel is best, but I didn't have any)

**I used raw cane sugar, which is a light brown color, which is why my caramel is a bit darker than if you were to start with white sugar

Heat sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula.
Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a deep, golden-brown, amber-colored viscous liquid. At all times, be careful not to burn!
Once the sugar is all melted, immediately add the butter. The mixture will bubble, so do watch out. Stir until the butter has completely melted and is mixed well into the sugar.
Slowly pour in the heavy cream. Due to the reaction between the cold cream and hot sugar mixture, the final mixture will bubble vigorously. Allow the mixture to boil/bubble for 30 seconds. It will rise in the pan as it does so. Once again, watch that it's not burning!
Remove from heat and stir in salt, starting with 1/2 tsp and adding as you taste. Allow to cool.
Store in a tightly-capped jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Warm slightly before using again.
Enjoy - I'm sure you will!

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