Well, friends, I have posted a second caramel sauce recipe. We have this dark, coppery dear, and the innocently sweet vanilla bean sauce.
Why two, you ask? I dunno. I like caramel. And hello, this is from Joy the Baker's cookbook (I'm proud to say that my copy is butter-spattered and has been scribbled in by the lady herself). Of course I'm going to make it! And she herself recommended the pairing of this with her famous "man bait" apple crisp (coming soon!), so obviously, it had to be made.
And made it was.
There is some controversy over which type of caramel is easier. The "wet", or the "dry." The vanilla bean caramel sauce is the dry method, where you cook down straight up sugar until it melts. This recipe is the wet method, where a liquid (water, in this case) is added to the sugar to moisten it and turn it into more of a boiling syrup.
Each method usually gives the same results, and if there's difference, don't ask me what it is. Talk to David Lebovitz, master of all things caramel, his posts alone got me through my first experiences.
For me, this one came together much faster, and is definitely more suited to sugary things. Because you cook it until "almost burnt," there is such an amazing depth of flavor going on, but I wouldn't call it bitter. Depth and bitterness, two different things.
What I like about the wet caramel is that I've never had that kind seize up on me. Whenever I've tried the dry, the sugar inevitably seems to chunk up when the cream is added. But I've always patiently stood by the stove, whisking over low heat until it comes together again. It's not bad, really, but I'd go with this guy if you're not into all that "fussiness."
But of course, you must be able to appreciate it's depth as well. You don't like the depth? Just cook it to your preferred color, then! I like my caramel bursting with flavor. So, I'm a copper caramel girl. All there is to it.
Stay tuned for an apple crisp (also Joy the Baker, lovin' this cookbook) recipe that will knock your socks (and possibly your feet) off. And, it's man bait. I'll wait on that, but the crisp is definitely in my arsenal.
Update: I realize that I previously had Joy's recipe up here, but I have since thought that wasn't entirely fair, since I hardly changed it at all. For copyright reasons, I removed it. If you wish to get your hands on it, buy her book, and consider this post an honest review of an amazing caramel sauce. However, if you really can't wait, the recipe is also featured here.