They define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. As a perfectionist, I often feel like I embody this definition in every way, especially in the kitchen. I think developing and testing recipes requires some degree of insanity. Who keeps making the same seemingly perfect caramel sauce recipe waiting for something different to happen? That’d be me. That brings us to caramel sauce: round three. A few years ago, I was determined to master caramel sauce. I tried what felt like hundreds of different recipes looking for the perfect one. When I came across this particular recipe and made it with no problems the very first time, it seemed way too good to be true. So I made it again, convinced that the first time was a fluke. Still perfect. I made it again, absolutely certain that this time, it would turn out too clumpy or too runny. Perfect, yet again. Repeating caramel sauce after caramel sauce, however many times with the same result, eventually proved to be worth it. Call me insane if you like, but I prefer you call me determined.
I am so thrilled to have found such a great recipe for caramel sauce. I think the real trick to caramel was revealed to me in this recipe. You have to let the mixture sit before you add the cream. After all, you just turned that sugar in caramel. Give him a breather. He just went through a lot. I can’t tell you how many times I have made this sauce, and I plan on continuing to make it until the day I die. It is such a versatile sauce that can be used in so many ways. Queue Salted Caramel Bread Pudding, no round three required. I swirl salted caramel sauce into the warm brioche bread pudding itself, but I also drizzle a healthy amount over the bread pudding before serving. Not only that, but you might find me hiding in my closet spooning it directly into my mouth. You can never have to much of a good thing, right? And this caramel sauce is a very, very good thing.
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 large eggs
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 (1 pound) loaf brioche or challah bread, cut into 1½-inch cubes
- Combine the heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring to a simmer and stir until the salt is dissolved.
- Meanwhile, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until a candy thermometer registers 350°F and the mixture is a deep amber color. Remove from the heat and let sit for 1 minute. Add the warm cream and stir until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, milk, and cream in a large bowl to combine. Add the bread cubes and toss gently to coat all the bread in the custard. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Drizzle ¼ cup of caramel evenly over the top. Pour the remaining custard and bread into the pan and drizzle with another ¼ cup of caramel. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 1 hour, until the custard is almost set. Remove the foil and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Serve with another drizzle of caramel over the top.