Two teaspoons of vanilla completely overwhelms the caramel flavor and ruins the recipe, and the so-called experts in the test kitchen should have known that. A half teaspoon would be more than enough. If you're skeptical, try making the recipe without any vanilla and then add small amounts after the sauce cools.
Easy Caramel Sauce
Photo: Melina Hammer; Styling: Buffy Hargett
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1. Bring sugar, water, and fresh lemon juice (to prevent crystals from forming) to a boil in a tall, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; boil 3 minutes or until sugar melts and liquid is clear, swirling pan occasionally. Cover; boil 1 minute.
- 2. Remove lid. Boil, gently swirling often and checking color and temp every 5 to 10 seconds, about 4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 345° to 350° and mixture is medium to dark amber. Remove from heat.
- 3. Gradually whisk in cream. (Mixture will bubble and spatter.) Cook, whisking constantly, over low heat 1 minute or until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and sea salt. Transfer to a serving bowl or pitcher. Chill, covered, up to 1 week.
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