Salted Caramel and Caramel Frosting

23 Nov

Truth be told, I never was that into caramel as a kid. It was also those chewy caramels that stuck to your teeth and never quite tasted right. I only really enjoyed it in a Twix bar (yum!) until recently. I started on Pinterest several months back and kept seeing all of these caramel centered recipes. It seems we are in the midst of a caramel craze, so I had to check it out. I’ve made a couple of different types of caramels (or SALTED caramels as everyone seems to have to call them since straight up caramel isn’t trendy enough) via different methods and I’ve chosen my favorite, at least for the time being. I tried dry caramels, but had them burn as they are much quicker to caramelize without having the boiling off of water to slow the process. This recipe is a wet (water used) recipe that also uses a little bit of corn syrup and I’ve liked it so much, I’ve never tried omitting it. Some also use considerably more butter, but I like it with a little more of the straight sugar flavor. It thickens up nicely (as seen in the top photo) and can be stored in the fridge.

Salted Caramel:

Notes:

Once everything is dissolved, do not stir or splash up the side where undissolved sugar may be lurking. Crystals can form on the spoon and affect the final caramel product.

Depending on your stove, you made need to swirl this to keep one hotter edge from burning before the other is amber. I’ve also omitted the lemon juice and salt before and it works just fine. I suppose it isn’t “salted” caramel any more if the salt isn’t added, but in my experience, a lot of the salt ends up stuck on the bottom of the pan when I pour this out anyways!

Recipe from: Kimberly Taylor

Makes: 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea

Directions:
1. Combine the sugar, water, and the corn syrup in a large saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Do not stir after this point (see note).
2. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
3. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. (It was already at a boil for me, so I didn’t touch the heat.)
4. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
5. CAREFULLY pour the heavy cream into the mixture. The mixture will bubble up significantly. If it doesn’t bubble up immediately, give it a quick stir keeping your hand outside the steam range of the pot.
6. Carefully stir the mixture and add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
7. Let cool and add to a container until used in another recipe or as a topping.

Salted Caramel Frosting:

In full disclosure, I haven’t used this recipe recently, but I used it a few months ago to coat a chocolate cake and it was one of the best things I’ve eaten. I’m pretty much looking for an excuse to make this frosting again! Unfortunately, I don’t have any non fuzzy pictures of the frosting. If you check out the link above though, she has many pictures of it frosted on her cake. It comes out to be almost white once the cream cheese and powdered sugar are added.

Ingredients:

2 sticks butter at room temperature
8 ounces of cream cheese
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel

Directions:

1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamed.
2. Beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture.
3. Beat in 1 cup of the salted caramel.
4. Add additional powdered sugar until the frosting is the sweetness and consistency you desire.

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