Salted Caramel Sauce with Dark Honey Cake

salted-caramel-sauceI have had this dark honey cake pinned for years.  It was one of my first pins and I have been thinking about making it for so long, I think that I had built it up in my mind into something magical.  I remembered that there was a homemade caramel sauce and whipping cream with it and having these added components is what stopped me from making it sooner.  It just sounded…complicated.  Luckily it wasn’t at all.  The cake came together quickly and I made the caramel sauce, but I have to admit that I planned on saying that you could just buy a caramel sauce at the store.  Yeah, I was very wrong on that count.  Don’t even think about not making this caramel sauce.  It is the stuff that dreams are made of.  In fact I wrote a poem about it.

Ode to Salted Caramel Sauce

Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways

I love thee in the morning with yogurt, oatmeal and pancakes

I love thee in the noon day with grahams, apples and ice cream shakes

I love thee all throughout the day when I only wield a spoon

I loved thee until thou wast gone; I hope you return soon.

AnneOpinion

So I guess you can tell that I fell kind of hard for the caramel sauce.  I was amazed at how much I loved this sauce.  I’m normally more of a chocolate girl.  I like caramel, but if I’m given the choice between a caramel or a hot fudge sundae, the hot fudge will win every time.  My love of this caramel sauce took me completely by surprise and soon I was dipping all kinds of things in the caramel (see poem), but then I decided to stop wasting calories on the vehicle and just grab a spoon and satisfy the craving that way.  (could someone please tell me why I’m constantly needing to diet?) 😉

What I learned after making this a few times is that you want to whisk the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves and then turn up the heat and leave it alone.  How long you let it brown will determine how dark your caramel sauce is.  The one pictured above was just barely brown.  Other batches I let go about a minute longer and they were much darker.  All of them were good. 🙂  The key thing that I learned, is that you cannot add all of the cream at once.  The sugar will seize up and you’ll have hard sugar chunks stuck to your whisk (tasty, but no bueno).  You have to temper the sugar by adding the cream a quarter cup a time, stirring constantly. Keep that in mind and you should be golden.

The cake (get the recipe here) had a mild flavor and it went well with the caramel sauce.  The flavors worked well together and neither was overpowering.  The dark part of it was cocoa, but it wasn’t super chocolately.  I liked the honey used as the sugar in the cake and it wasn’t as dense as I would have thought.  I thought that using shortening in cake was different but it worked fine.  I think that it would also be good with a hot fudge sauce, but then you wouldn’t have reason to make the salted caramel sauce, and you really need to make the caramel sauce.

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Salted Caramel Sauce
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Salted Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream, adding only a quarter cup at a time and thoroughly whisking before adding the next. The mixture will bubble and steam. Stir in the butter and salt. Allow to cool. Store in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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