Dessert and holidays seem to naturally go together. Circulating online frequently these days are recipes that include the need for caramel sauce. Most of these quick holiday ideas don’t specify which caramel sauce to use, others show in pictures the squeeze bottles from the store. Of course, here at D.I. we prefer making our own because it tastes better and only has four ingredients.
Here is the ingredient list for Hershey’s Caramel Syrup:
CORN SYRUP; HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP; SWEETENED CONDENSED SKIM MILK (SKIM MILK AND SUGAR); WATER; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: DISODIUM PHOSPHATE; SODIUM CITRATE; SALT; ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR; CARAMEL COLOR; XANTHAN GUM; ARTIFICIAL COLOR (YELLOW 6; YELLOW 5)
When making your own caramel sauce, the first thing is to get over the fear of making your own. By following the directions closely and using a candy thermometer, you should be quite successful. Store it in a jar in the refrigerator. Because of its high sugar content, it will last quite a while. Plenty of caramel sauce recipes exist out there. I have made the recipe below with great results.
Ina’s Caramel Sauce from Food Network
Mix the water and sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Do not stir. Increase the heat to medium and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a warm chestnut brown (about 350 degrees F on acandy thermometer), about 5 to 7 minutes, gently swirling the pan to stir the mixture. Be careful – the mixture is extremely hot! Watch the mixture very carefully at the end, as it will go from caramel to burnt very quickly. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid splattering and slowly add the cream and vanilla. Don’t worry – the cream will bubble violently and the caramel will solidify.
Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits.