Interesting fact about Caramel vs Carmel - the former is a food, the latter is a place. Personally, if I could walk around saying 'carmel' all day and have people (i.e. grammar nuts) know that I'm talking about food, I would do it. However, now that I've looking into it I don't think I can justify saying 'carmel' anymore. BOOO!! Car-a-mel is just a mouthful after cute little 'carmel'. That whole extra syllable is killing me. Anyway, sarcastic humor aside, this caramel sauce is amazing. Use it on anything and it will make it amazing. I always eat a spoonful or three during the process and my sink becomes a modern art gallery of forsaken spoons shortly thereafter.
It's basically the same thing as my caramel for Salted Caramel Popcorn, but with heavy cream added. I know, you're thinking "Butter, sugary, caramelly goodness WITH CREAM!?!?" Yeah - me too. I told you - this makes everything better.
This sauce can be used for almost anything that calls for the store bought stuff. Ice cream topping, cakes, apple nachos, or just plain old snacking. If you're feeling very decadent, add twice the amount of cream and use it as fondue, see my note below.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt (double if you like salted caramel)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup cream
In a deep sauce pan, combine all ingredients except cream and vanilla bring to a gentle boil over medium heat (about 5 minutes). Boil one minute, stirring frequently. Add baking soda - it will foam up - and stir until all the caramel is foamy. Add cream and vanilla and boil an additional minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and transfer to a two cup glass measuring cup or small heat proof bowl. Allow to cool completely. Refrigerate leftovers (yeah right) in a air tight jar or container.
Add twice the amount of cream, boil 1 minute. Remove from direct heat, but keep warm in a fondue pot, or a double broiler on low.