Friday, December 6, 2013

Salted Caramel ?!?

I have to admit I had never heard of Salted Caramel until a year ago.
Something in my brain would not let me try it. Salt and cake is how the message came through. Yuck!
Now, almost a year later, I am giving in. It has become SO popular I have to see what the hype is about.
Remember I did that with cake pops too and the outcome wasn't too pleasant?!
I'm going to be optimistic though.
I am going to pair it with a vanilla bean cake.
The cakes theme is Harley Davidson and it's for a very close family friend, so close we consider him family.
Mike battled and beat cancer, not 1 cancer, 4 cancers...and won!
Turning 60 is a big deal and something the doctors didn't think he would do at one point. That was 25 years ago.

Back to my Salted Caramel experiment.
It all starts with Caramel Sauce. I made mine from scratch.
It really isn't as hard as you might think. My trick is adding water to the sugar so it doesn't burn. Yes, it does take longer to turn amber, but at least I don't have to worry about ruining my sugar.
I made 2 cups of sauce. I figure what I don't use in my icing I can use over ice cream.
Caramel Sauce will not go to waste in this house.

Have everything measured out and ready to go, you will have to work quick.

I started with 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup water in a 2 qt sauce pan.
Cook over med-high heat stir until it boils.
Once it boils stop stirring and let it cook. Keep a close eye on it though, it can go from dark amber to burnt in a second.
It should look like this when it's done, med-dark amber. Mine took about 5-8 minutes to get to this color.

Once it is med-dark amber add the butter cubes and whisk until they are melted.
Remove from heat.
Add heavy cream. Be careful , this will bubble up.
Whisk until smooth.
Add salt, whisk, let cool to room temperature.
This can be stored in the refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks.
It wouldn't last that long here anyways.

Once the caramel sauce is cooled I make the buttercream icing.

This was fabulous!!!
My new favorite. Only thing I may do next time is increase the salt slightly to cut down on some of the sweetness and because I love salt . Also, I would pair it with chocolate cake .