Homemade salted caramel sauce made using evaporated milk – so it’s made without cream or butter.
Before we move into January, when health foods and detoxes become all the rage, let’s smother our desserts (and breakfasts!) in some salty-sweet caramel sauce. The sauce is pourable at room temperature, and doesn’t harden in the fridge, so you can cover your pancakes – or muffins, or waffles, or even oatmeal – in caramel goodness at a moment’s notice.
Given the amount of sugar in this recipe, it’s not going to pass as ‘healthy’. But, there’s no cream and no butter, so it’s ‘lighter’ than your typical caramel sauce. Instead, evaporated milk provides the richness that you’d expect from a caramel sauce, and a touch of bourbon prevents the sauce from hardening.
There isn’t too much salt in this sauce, just a little to add a hint of salty-sweet fun. But, if you prefer your salted caramel sauce on the saltier sauce, then consider adding an extra pinch or two of salt.
The bourbon isn’t particularly noticeable in the sauce, it’s just there because alcohol has an amazing ability to prevent cold food from becoming hard or icy, due to its low freezing point. (That’s why some people recommend you add booze when making low-fat ice-cream).
If you don’t have any bourbon, then try to use a drink with a similar alcohol content – typically, bourbon is 40% alcohol by volume. Whisky, brandy or rum would all be good substitutes.
But what if you don’t have (or can’t have) any alcohol? Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. When I tried this recipe without the bourbon, it still made a very tasty sauce. The only trick is that is that the sauce will become almost solid in the fridge, so it needs to be warm or at room temperature before you use it.
So, what should we cover in salted caramel sauce? Uh, everything! For a start, it would be delicious on top of Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Waffles, Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats and Pumpkin Spice French Toast.
I also love topping chopped apple or sliced banana with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Or you could add a little to a banana smoothie, or banana ‘ice cream’.
And, just in case you needed more ideas, the caramel-covered crepes and baked oatmeal pictured above will be coming to the blog very soon!
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30mL) water
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) bourbon
- ⅓ cup (80mL) room-temperature evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Place the granulated sugar, water and bourbon in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes, without stirring, or until golden brown and fragrant.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Slowly whisk in the evaporated milk, and continue whisking until smooth. Take care, as the mixture will bubble and splutter.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract and salt. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes before using. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- Store leftover sauce in the fridge. While the sauce can be used straight from the fridge, it is easier to use when at room temperature, or warm.
The sauce will be thick, but pourable, at room temperature (and a bit runnier when warm). Once chilled, it will become very thick (although it won’t harden).
The salt is quite subtle him this sauce. So, if you prefer your salted caramel sauce on the saltier side, you may wish to add an extra pinch or two of salt. The salt is more pronounced when the sauce is cold, rather than warm.
For best results, use full-fat evaporated milk.