It’s crazy to me now, but I used to think I hated caramel. For a long time, my only experience with caramel was the overly sweet caramel found in boxes of cheap chocolates, and I super duper hated it. I mean no offense to those who love that stuff, I certainly have my own guilty pleasure food items (cheese in a can anyone?), but it’s just not my thing. But true homemade caramels or caramel sauce? That stuff is a revelation. There is such creamy depth of flavor to homemade caramel and I just can’t get enough.
I had actually intended to blog about this bread pudding recipe today. It was easy, it was good, but it didn’t knock my socks off. But this whiskey caramel sauce that went with it? It is truly perfect. Feel free to make the bread pudding if you’d like, you will probably like it. But I don’t think you’ll love it- it really needs this caramel sauce to liven it up. Instead, I’d recommend just making this sauce and using it to top ice cream, brownies, cake, a better bread pudding recipe, or just eating spoonfuls of it. Not that I would ever do that!
WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon whiskey
- Pinch of sea salt
Add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water to a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the sugar fully dissolves. You will want to carefully swirl the pan and brush down the sides with a wet pasty brush.
Once the sugar dissolves, don’t touch the pan again until the sugar caramelizes and turns a medium-amber color, about 5 minutes. Be sure to watch the pan very carefully, as it can burn very quickly. Once it reaches a medium-amber color, add the cream. Be careful as the mixture will likely sputter and boil vigorously!
Continue to heat the mixture and whisk until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off and then add the whiskey and salt.
Use the caramel sauce on everything!
Adapted from Food and Wine