Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BYOC: Vanilla Caramel Sauce

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(Bring Your Own Cake...or apple slices...or ice cream...)

Today a 5.9-ish earthquake rocked our city. Okay, so I think it started as a 5.9 in Virginia and then we felt it rumble along several states on the east coast. Here in Washington, DC, I thought it was our independent residents getting into zumba in the gym above the charting room, until I realized the noise was getting stronger and longer and the walls were kind of moving. So I ran out to check on our dear residents and the quake stopped. People were a bit shaken up but there wasn't really much damage throughout the area. Nothing at our place, really, my apt pictures were a little crooked and a few chimneys fell and the top of the spires of the Washington, DC Temple will need to be repaired, but nothing major.

And all afternoon I had traumatic visions of flattened cakes running through my mind. Just imagine the horror if I'd had a delicate butter cake slowly baking in the oven and another rude earthquake or aftershock came along? It would be nothing but a giant pancake!

So to save my sanity, I opted for something a little different this week, a delightfully creamy vanilla caramel sauce! This is great on top of apple slices and I'm sure on top of ice cream, I just unfortunately did not have any on hand at 10pm.

Vanilla Caramel Sauce

1 c. sugar
1-1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Spread sugar in the bottom of a heavy pot, a stainless steel one is best so you can see the color of the sugar as you go. Turn the heat on to medium-high and start stirring your sugar. Allow the sugar to sit for a few seconds until you see it beginning to melt, then stir until it gets clumpy and it doesn't look like it's melting anymore. Let it sit for a few seconds until it starts melting and repeat. As the sugar becomes more liquidy, it will change in color to a shade of amber (dark yellowish). Now you want to stir fast and constant until those last clumps of sugar melt and remove from heat.

Slowly pour in half of the heavy cream, mixing constantly and quickly! (It was far easier for me using the buddy system; I stirred and my dear roomie poured the cream.) Stir until the cream is well combined and add the last half. Once this is incorporated, add the salt and vanilla, still stirring.

Keep refrigerated in an air tight container.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats

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