Hot fudge seems to get all the attention, but I can’t imagine anything better than a simple caramel (or butterscotch) sauce – butter, sugar and cream, simmered into smooth bliss, is better than the sum of its parts. It can dress up anything from plain cake or ice cream to special-occasion waffles and crepes, and makes a fine gift, in a small jar wrapped up with a bow. If you want to upgrade your (already simply perfect) caramel, it can easily be fancied up itself with a spoonful of instant espresso, a vanilla bean, or grated lemon zest. Or try using maple sugar in place of the brown sugar.
So many recipes call for bottled caramel sauce, yet there is nothing simpler to make from scratch. There is no chemistry to it – simply simmer cream, butter and sugar, until slightly thickened. That’s it. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to two months; reheat over low heat on the stove top when you’re ready for it.
1 1/2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
In a small saucepan, stir together the cream, brown sugar and butter over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes, until smooth and slightly thickened.