Those who love sweets and desserts would know what caramel is. This orange-brown confectionery product is made by heating a range of sugars. It is used in different things such as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, or as a topping for ice cream and custard.
The simple and delicious caramel sauce is usually made with cream. Using heavy cream provides the creamy caramel sauce texture. But will you be able to procure a delicious caramel sauce without cream? Let’s find out as you read further.
Make Caramel Without Cream
How Caramel Is Made?
Before we dive into the recipe for making caramel sauce, let us check some useful information about the basic process. This will also help you perform the right procedures later on.
Choosing the right equipment before you execute some procedures on a recipe card caramel sauce will help you achieve better results. In this case, it is suggested to use a sturdy, heavy-bottomed pot or saucepan with tall sides. There is one good reason why you will need to get the right utensils.
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Since the process of making a caramel sauce involves melting some sugar and incorporating milk until thickened, it might result in some unusual reaction. Adding the liquid to the hot sugar will cause bubbles to rise, thus, it is important that you avoid it from overflowing. Those high walls on the pot will help you prevent some real mess while cooking a homemade caramel sauce.
Adding the milk as the sugar melts will also cause another weird reaction and that is the formation of lumps and bumps when you add the liquid. The reason is that bits of sugar solidify during this process, which is a normal reaction. As you move through the cooking process, these bits of sugars will dissolve gradually.
To achieve that smooth and delicious caramel, you will need to focus your attention during the entire cooking process. You will need to constantly stir the mixture to avoid getting any scorched pans. Having those remnants will be hard to deal with after your cooking is done.
How to Make Salted Caramel Sauce With Milk
This easy caramel sauce recipe is intended to make about 1 3/4 cups of caramel sauce. The ingredients you will need are the following:
- 2 cups sugar (brown sugar or white sugar)
- 1 3/4 cups milk (you can use whole milk or other types of milk such as rice milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large pot, pour the sugar and tilt the pot side to side to distribute the sugar evenly.
- Put the pot over medium-low heat and stay nearby without touching the sugar. Wait for it to slowly melt. But as it could take time, combine the milk and the vanilla in a heatproof measuring cup. Heat the combined mixture in the microwave for about 1 minute and set aside. The warm milk could lessen the reaction while pouring it to the liquid sugar.
- As the sugar starts to liquify, use a heatproof rubber spatula to turn the mixture over on itself. Moisten those dry bits of sugar until they are all melted.
- Continue heating the melted sugar. But at this point, you will notice a chain reaction as the colors change from sort of beige to a light caramel tone.
- Remove the pot from the heat once the caramel sauce reaches a rich caramel tone, medium-brown but not dark color.
- Once it has been removed from the heat, pour about 1/3 to 1/2 of the milk mixture into the caramel mixture. Don’t be surprised as you will experience hissing and bubbling as you pour the liquid into the mixture. As it hiss and bubbles, hardened bits may form. Once the bubbling has subsided for a few seconds, you can now add the remaining milk.
- Put the pot back on the stove and put it over medium-high heat. Stir gently and constantly. Those hardened bits of sugar will slowly melt and should dissolve into the mixture as you stir constantly. Once there are no traces of lumps, put in the salt. Add more salt if you prefer.
- Cook the caramel sauce for about 10 minutes. Doing so will help you achieve a thinner caramel sauce. If you want some thicker sauce, cook your caramel sauce for about 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat once the mixture is about 20% short of your preferred thickness. The caramel sauce will actually thicken as soon as the mixture cools. To remove lumps, use a strain and strain the caramel sauce.
You now have a caramel sauce through this recipe. You may now transfer your salted caramel sauce to a heat proof container to cool. Drizzle it on your favorite bread pudding or desserts. Store the remaining caramel sauce in a fridge for future use.
Tips In Making Caramel Sauce
When making some homemade caramel sauce, there are a few tricks that need to be observed. The first thing to do is to ensure you are using clean utensils. Aside from using a heavy-bottomed pot with tall sides, make sure that the equipment you are going to use, such as spatula or metal spoon, are clean. This will help prevent the granulated sugar from crystallizing.
Making caramel sauce will create a hot environment, and since you will need to stir the hot caramel sauce constantly, make sure to use an oven mitt. This will help block the hot steam from burning your hands.
Though you will find an easy caramel sauce recipe, don’t make caramel sauce if you are also busy doing something else. Making caramel sauce takes time, focus and attention. The process goes through very quickly and it is also time-sensitive. Not paying attention while making caramel sauce may result in unwanted caramel sauce like being burnt, seized or curdled.
As the sugar heats up and starts to liquify, do not stir it. You will only need a spatula to push the liquid sugar on top of the solid sugar so it doesn’t burn. Only stir the mixture once all of the sugar has melted and liquify.
Avoid burning your caramel sauce. The indication that it is already cooked is the rusty golden-brown color. As much as possible, do not go beyond the required medium heat temperature as the caramel sauce could get burnt easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not all things can be perfected in one try. If it is your first time making a caramel sauce and it did not turn out as expected, keep on trying until you get it right. If you encounter some issues, try to find some solution. Who knows, you might be a recipe developer and could come up with one of the favorite recipes for caramel sauce.
For example, if you are using milk as a substitute for not having cream, you may end up with milk curdles. This can be due to sugar getting too dark or burnt, thus it becomes too acidic, before adding the milk. Using an old milk and/or not stirring the caramel constantly once the milk has been added may also result in curdling. If that is the cause, you can remove those milk curdles by using an immersion blender to smooth it out again.
One of the normal, yet unusual reactions of the caramel sauce is the seizing of the caramel sauce once milk is added to it. Which means the liquid caramel hardens into a semi-solid clump and leaves you with a pot full of milk and a clump of caramelized sugar. If it is your first time to make a caramel sauce, don’t panic as the clumps melt back into the sauce. Just put the pot back into the heat and keep on stirring. It may take a while before all the lumps will melt but it will eventually dissolve.
Caramel recipes are different from each other, especially with the ingredients being used. However, storing your caramel sauce that is homemade should last for several weeks, if not longer, as long as you keep it in a jar in the refrigerator.
Certainly, there are quite a few caramel sauce recipes. The Caramel Latté Ice Cream is a recipe of caramel sauce with silky, luscious ice cream that tastes like the frozen version of an ultra-creamy caramel latte.
Salted Caramel and Candied Pecan Biscotti is an easy recipe to make. This caramel sauce is a classic biscotti that gets some twists with the addition of crunchy candied pecans, a heavy caramel drizzle, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
If you want homemade candy with a twist, check out the mini chocolate cups filled with rum-spiked caramel called Boozy Chocolate Caramel Cups. There are few additions to these recipes, such as butterscotch sauce. Keep on exploring for some delicious sweet treats. But make sure to consume them in moderation for health reasons.