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A Salted Butter Caramel Disaster

September 25, 2010

If there could ever be an oxymoron, it would be “salted butter caramel disaster.” Anything that is sweet, slightly salty and a bit nutty all at the same time could never be a disaster. Especially something that has Plugra in it, which may be my new obsession. The extra-rich European butter is an expensive indulgence, but so worth it in this sauce, which is all about indulgence.

After a long day of apple cake-baking and work and running around the city, I needed a pick-me-up on Thursday night. I don’t think I need to remind you how much I love salted caramels (I ate my weight’s worth in Paris, natch), and I’d had my eye on this salted butter caramel sauce from Smitten Kitchen for months. It may or may not have everything to do with my obsessive reading of her blog.

– 1 cup sugar

– 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened

– 1/2 cup cream, at room temperature

The recipe seemed simple enough: heat the sugar until it melts and then browns into a rich, coppery caramel.

Whisk in the butter and cream. Stir until the sauce is smooth and enjoy on everything.

But something went so horribly wrong. The sugar melted perfectly and browned to a beautiful deep chestnut color and the butter melted perfectly and Keith’s apartment smelled amazing and somewhere between the melted butter and the cream, we ended up with a huge glob of rock-hard caramel brittle that stuck to the whisk and the pot and made me very sad.

Granted the sauce around it was delicious, especially over vanilla ice cream. But I couldn’t help kicking myself over the botching of such an easy-looking recipe. After I poured the rest of the sauce into a container, Keith decided to microwave the caramel brittle, and somehow (I think he’s magic), it melted into perfect caramel sauce. I have no idea what went wrong, though maybe the cream was too cold and seized the caramel up. Either way, it was perfect, buttery and rich from the Plugra, nutty from the extra-long browning and exactly what I needed at the end of a long day.

Note: In addition to being a caramel saver, Keith also took these photos.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. keith permalink
    September 28, 2010 2:20 pm

    yum yum yum

  2. October 12, 2010 9:16 am

    yum! I love caramel and making it is a lot of fun too. I had a ball making these homemade caramel apples by Martha Stewart. Perfect for Halloween!

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