Salted Caramel Sauce

For those of you daunted by the rainbow cookie recipe, fear not: here’s a one-pot dessert sauce that, with a tub of good vanilla ice cream (I like Häagen-Dazs), will transform your entire weekend. It’s salty, it’s sticky, it’s sweet and it takes just a few minutes.

The only thing that might give you pause is that making caramel can be a little scary. Essentially, you’re melting sugar and cooking it until it takes on a deep, complex flavor–it’ll turn a dark golden color–that is at its absolute best just before it burns. But you don’t want it to burn because burnt caramel, like burnt garlic, cannot be rescued. Therefore, you have to cook it carefully.

Also, not to scare you, but you can really burn yourself. So be very cautious. Imagine the hottest substance you can imagine and then imagine if that substance were sticky. That’s what you have when you’re cooking caramel so don’t do this around small children or those with uncontrollable spasms or small children with uncontrollable spasms. It won’t be a pretty picture.

That said, if you attack this with confidence, it’ll come together in a jiffy. And just in case I didn’t sell you on the sauce enough, anyone who likes things salty and sweet will be quickly won over. It’s great on ice cream but we also used it for dipping apples:


And it lasts a really long time in the fridge (we had this for dessert on ice cream on many many nights).

So give it a try this weekend. If you succeed, you’ll have dessert for weeks; if you fail, you’ll have 3rd degree burns and maimed children but the knowledge that, next time around, your salted caramel sauce will be just perfect.

Salted Caramel Sauce

by Zoe Nathan from Food & Wine Magazine


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

3/4 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 teaspoons gray sea salt, crushed ( In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup and bring to a boil.


Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil over high heat until a deep amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream, butter and salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.


Covered in the fridge, it’ll last two weeks. If it gets too thick, add a spoonful of very hot water (from the tap) and whisk until smooth.

Let's dish!

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