Tuesday, August 17, 2010
All of my stress aside, once I made this recipe with a few changes, it was actually marvelously easy. It took a little while, but you can be puttering around doing all sorts of other things while it's up and going.
yields about 1 and 1/2 cups
adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home, original recipe here
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp Lyle's Golden Syrup (or corn syrup)
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Mix the sugar in 1/3 cup water in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan. Mix in the Golden Syrup. Place the pan over low heat, and cook without stirring until the sugar dissolves. Ina says it should take 5-10 minutes...I think it took me more like 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out the heavy cream and add the vanilla so you are not freaking out at the last minute.
2. Increase the heat to medium, and boil covered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown. Um, for me, I cooked it until it was the color of my hair (see picture at right), but if you don't have brown hair, go with the chestnuts. Again, Ina says this takes 5-7 minutes, but it took me much longer (about 20 or so). Swirl the pan from time to time, and watch it more carefully towards the end. Using the golden syrup makes it a little harder to see the color change, but it should look significantly darker. If you have a candy thermometer, the temperature should reach 350 degrees.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the heavy cream. Stand back and do this carefully -- the caramel is VERY hot. The cream will bubble; the caramel will solidify; things will look bleak. Just put the pan back on low heat, and stir until the caramel dissolves (this only takes a minute or two).
4. Allow to cool to room temperature. The caramel will thicken as it cools. Stays well in the fridge up to 2 weeks, if it lasts that long.