Easy recipe for salted caramel sauce using a foolproof method by food scientist, Raphaël Haumont. Served warm, it's the best topping on all sorts of classic French desserts: crêpes, ice cream, waffles, profiteroles, rice pudding, pear and apple tarts.
Weigh both the butter (chop up roughly) and sugar directly into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Weigh the cream in another pan, heat gently and set aside. Alternatively, heat in a glass in the microwave for 30 seconds (do not boil).
Using a wooden spoon, stir both the butter and sugar constantly over a medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolves. The mixture should start to foam and bubble gently. Keep stirring until they turn a more golden, caramel colour - it should also start to smell like caramel. This should take about 10 minutes maximum.
As soon as the butter/sugar are a nice deep golden/straw caramel colour (don't wait until it's amber, otherwise the sauce will be bitter), add the warm cream, stirring constantly. Turn down the heat, keep stirring until thickened and add the salt. After about 5 minutes pour directly into a sauce jug or into sterilised jam jars. Leave to cool then seal.
Consistency: The sauce will thicken as it cools and will harden when stored in the fridge. When ready to serve, heat for a few seconds in the microwave.If you like your caramel sauce more runny, add more cream. To thicken the sauce even more, reduce by simmering for another 5-10 minutes.Butter: I use unsalted butter in this recipe as good quality salted butter can be difficult to find outside of France. If you do have access to quality salted butter from Normandy or Brittany, then use it and omit the extra salt.How Long Can the Sauce Keep?The caramel can last for 3 weeks or up to a month if stored in a sterilised sealed jar in the fridge.Method of Cooking: This alternative approach to cooking the salted caramel sauce is thanks to food scientist, Raphaël Haumont. However, if you prefer to use the classic method, then first make a caramel by stirring the sugar with a tablespoon of water in a pan. Over a medium heat without stirring, leave until a caramel forms (about 10 minutes) then as soon as a golden caramel forms, lower the heat and add the butter then the warmed cream.