5-Minute “Company Worthy” Caramel Sauce

caramelMy friend Iris is a culinary genius who is particularly adept at sauces. Her caramel sauce recipe has been a well-kept secret, until now. After a few requests, she has graciously agreed to share it on Family Savvy!

With only two ingredients and five minutes, you can create a caramel sauce fitting for the finest dinner party.  So read on; discover the secret ingredient; make the sauce for yourself. And please, let me know how you like it!caramel7

5-Minute “Company Worthy” Caramel Sauce

Iris O’ Brien

Throw out the candy thermometer, and get ready to become the favorite cook on the block! You’ll absolutely die when you taste this caramel sauce.

Every year as Fall approaches, my family begins to crave caramel sauce. My daughter Ivey adores it atop pumpkin bread. I place it prominently on my dessert table to accompany baked goods, fresh fruit, ice cream, and more. No matter how I serve it, I always get asked for the recipe. People can’t get enough of it.

Caramel sauce can be difficult to master, depending upon the recipe and technique used. My five years of test kitchen experience taught me that certain caramel sauces can be finicky, affected by the weather, and hard to perfect!

The standard or traditional technique for making caramel sauce is basically cooking sugar, water, butter, and cream in stages. The most problematic part of making caramel sauce is burning the sugar water and bringing it to a hard candy stage. A candy thermometer is required to let you know when to turn off the heat so that the caramel doesn’t burn.  Traditional caramel sauces cook the sugar syrup to “exactly” 350 degrees. This technique is exacting and may or may not turn out well.

An alternative method of making caramel involves cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk in a water bath, simmering for 3 hours. Who wants to do that? Seems dangerous to me!

Another method that I recall from my test kitchen days involved standing around the kitchen opening bags of individually wrapped caramels to be melted in simmering whipping cream. This was obviously very labor intensive, and honestly, too many caramels ended up in my mouth!

After suffering through all these complicated cooking techniques, I made a discovery that forever changed how I make caramel sauce. After stumbling across one amazing ingredient, I am making caramel sauce left and right – with the greatest of ease! Here is the secret ingredient:can

Now that you know the secret, let’s get started!  I will now share, for the first time, my secret 5-minute caramel sauce that will send you to sauce heaven! You’ll thank me for this one!

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 5-Minute “Company Worthy” Caramel Sauce

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 (13.4-ounce) can Nestlé LaLechera Dulce de Leche

* (Available at Walmart in the Mexican food section)

Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Carefully stir in Dulce de Leche – stirring constantly until incorporated. Stir until smooth, and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 cups

Use this sauce to top off any quick bread or dessert. Can be refrigerated for up to one week. Simply reheat before serving.

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* Tip from Jamie: In my Wal-Mart (at left),  there were several LaLechera products. Be sure to choose the product with the blue wording on the label.

LaLechera should be available at your local Wal-Mart. If not, it can be purchased on amazon.com but at almost twice the price.