Christmas is over! How was it? Too much food? Too much family time? Too many presents to unwrap? (Is that possible?)
Well, I hope you aren’t too sick of the sweets because I’m not done sharing them. I was assigned Rebecca’s blog, A Dash of Thyme for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, and I have been stuck on the vanilla bean caramel sauce ever since I saw it. I mean, I’m obviously a huge fan of caramel. And a huge fan of ice cream. So, when given the opportunity to whip this recipe up, it was a no brainer. I almost made the fried pickles, too, because… well, because fried pickles are one of the most amazing creations. Dip those puppies in some ranch dressing and you have a champion appetizer. But I ran out of time and pickles don’t go bad. Keep an eye out for that recipe coming up!
Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Spread the sugar in a layer over the bottom of a large saucepan. Place over medium-low heat, and watch carefully. When the sugar begins to liquefy around the edges, use a heatproof spoon to gently stir it towards the center. Continue stirring gently until all the sugar is melted.
Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, immediately remove the sauce pan from the heat.
Measure out the heavy cream into a bowl and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the bowl with the cream in it. Microwave for about 30 seconds to warm up (this is to try and keep it from seizing up the caramel when you add it).
Carefully whisk into the caramel half of the heavy cream mixture. The mixture will steam and bubble continuously. Stir until the cream is well incorporated, then whisk in the remaining cream. If the caramel seizes and gets hards, stir over low heat until the hard parts melt and combine with the liquid. Stir in the salt and the vanilla.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat on low heat in a saucepan if desired.