Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel

One of the items on my menu of things to bring was a fruit or a sauce to go over my mom's cheesecake on Christmas Eve. I was hoping to make my favorite blueberry sauce, but when NO BERRIES of any variety were on sale Christmas week at all, I had to go with inexpensive plan B. I did a quick recipe search on Google and realized I could make a salted caramel sauce pretty easily and without much expense! As a bonus, it could double with the apple pie I was planning to make for Christmas with my inlaws. I had a vanilla bean on hand from a Christmas stocking from LAST year, so I decided to doctor it up a little with a vanilla bean salted caramel recipe. Here is the recipe I chose,

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 vanilla bean, sliced and seeded
1 teaspoon sea salt

Slice a vanilla bean in half.  Using the back of the knife, scrape the seeds from the pod.  You can save the pods, and put them in a jar of sugar.  Pretty soon, you will have the most fragrant and delicious sugar. (I used mine in my apple pie.) Pour the cream into a measuring cup and add the vanilla bean seeds, and sea salt.  Set aside. Put the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the sugar to a boil. Let the sugar cook (do not stir using a spoon, at most, you may swirl the pan to avoid hot spots) until it reaches a deep amber color. Whisk in the cream mixture.  It will bubble and go nuts, but keep whisking.  It will come together. (I whisked mine for a few minutes over the heat.)

This was ABSOLUTELY a show stopper! Everyone loved it. It was wonderfully easy, and my kids really enjoyed watching me make it too. As a side note, if you don't have a vanilla bean I wouldn't say that you HAVE to buy one. The vanilla bean is just a Christmas Eve kind of fancy bonus! I would think you could add a little extra vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste to your cream mixture, and it would still be outstanding! The sea salt is what really shines through. Without the vanilla bean, the salted caramel sauce costs right around $2 to make. I can't believe it's cheaper than buying a bottle of caramel sauce. The flavor  is 1,000 times better!

For more recipes see Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.


  1. this sounds very sweet come see something i shared a bit savery at http://shopannies.blogspot.com/2011/12/deer-day-and-recipe.html

  2. Thanks for the reminder. I used a caramel sauce on a cheesecake many years ago and it was a hit too. Love your blog.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~