Homemade caramel sauce is the stuff of my dreams. And by “dreams” I should clarify that, for years, I’ve had a specific fantasy of dredging crepes in caramel and eating piles of them like a depraved French baby.
So finally one weekend I decided to hunker down and make this fantasy a reality.
And oh my word was it worth it.
(Note- this post only includes the recipe for the rye whiskey caramel sauce and not the crepe recipe, but I included a link to the crepe recipe I used- which is actually Julia Child’s recipe and I’d highly recommend it!)
Caramel sauce is one of those recipes that seems a lot harder than it actually is. The trick to making the perfect caramel is to have the correct sized pot and to monitor the cooking process very closely. But one you start, it really only takes about 15 minutes until you have the most perfect dessert sauce known to man.
Really the only issue you could have is the sugar burning if you don’t take it off the heat quickly enough once it reaches the carmelization stage. You can avoid this by a) watching your thermometer like a hawk and b) making sure you swirl the pot a little bit here and there if the sugar looks like its browning unevenly. This will help prevent scorch marks.You also want to make sure your pan is the right size. Too big of a pan and there is too much surface area and you increase chance of burning. Too small a pan will be problematic for when you add the cream and whiskey (the caramel will bubble up vigorously) and you want to make sure all the caramel stays in the pan and not all over your countertop.
A 3 quart saucepan was perfect for achieving this result with this particular recipe. (Note- if doubling the recipe you should probably consider using a larger pan.)
The caramelization process happens when you heat the sugar to the point of browning, but not burning. To make it into a sauce, you will then need to add butter, heavy cream, vanilla, and in this particular recipe- rye whiskey. I also find that the caramel sauce tastes the best if you add salt to the recipe as well.
Whiskey in general goes very well with caramel. Most whiskeys naturally have a toffee/vanilla note to their flavor and so it makes sense that they would be the perfect liquor for taking your caramel sauce up a notch. You only need a few tablespoons to achieve the desired flavor. I used Templeton Rye Whiskey for this recipe which was incredible, but use whatever whiskey you have on hand (doesn’t even have to be Rye).
The caramel will thicken slightly as it cools, but you can thin it out again by heating it for about 1 minute in the microwave. The caramel sauce will be good for up to 3 months if stored in the fridge.
Just think of all the crepes to be made! (Confessions of a glutton right here…)
This is probably one of the best desserts I have ever made. And to take it over the top please, please, please top these with flaked sea salt. You won’t be sorry.
Rye Whiskey Caramel Sauce