Georgia-born chef and author Virginia Willis is sharing her recipe for a rich, creamy caramel sauce. It is delicious over ice cream, but it's also a fun and easy hostess gift to share over the holidays. Simply whip up a batch the night before, put into a cute, sealable jar, and then wrap with a ribbon. For an added touch, include the recipe on a notecard with your gift.
I'm Virginia Willis and I'm here to share with you a caramel sauce that's absolutely delicious and perfect for gift giving for the holidays. The first thing I have is I'm going to combine water and sugar. So this is white granulated sugar. I'm also going to add the juice of half a lemon. Now I'm going to stir it and it's the only time I'm going to stir the caramel the entire process until the very end. Because what happens is when I'm stirring this to dissolve the sugar, crystals will form on the spoon, and if I reintroduce the spoon to the sugar syrup As it's cooking it might make rock candy. Which is great if you're making rock candy but not if you're making a caramel sauce. I'm going to combine, heavy cream and butter in a second sauce pan and we're going to heat that through just until the butter is melted. Now this isn't the time to check your cell phone or go check your email. You need to turn it off and pay attention cause what's happening in this pan is important. And the stage past caramel of course is burnt. So you'll see what starts happening. First of all it's bubbling furiously, the water is cooking off. The water is evaporating out of the syrup mixture And as I swirl it, any crystals that might form on the edge of the pan are automatically dissolved into the caramel. You start to see that we're getting just a little bit of color. It's just a pale, pale blonde. And because I'm in a stainless steel skillet, I can clearly see that on the bottom of the pan. All right, now I'm gonna swirl it a little bit just in case there are any hot spots. And that's gonna allow that color to disseminate throughout the caramel sauce. Now the key to the perfect caramel sauce is waiting until just the last minute before adding the butter and the cream. All right, so I've got some nice dark color. You see some darker spots sort of in the center. Now I'm gonna add the butter and the cream and, watch now, it's gonna bubble up so we either want a high sided pan or a broad, shallow pan. [MUSIC] Now, don't do anything yet, okay? Just leave it be, right now. It's going to subside. Once it subsides just a little bit, then I'm going to add a pinch of coarse kosher salt. Now, I'm going to add my vanilla seeds. [BLANK_AUDIO] And stir it together. And once it's cooled just a little bit, it'll be ready to put into jars. So our caramel sauce is cooled, and it's ready to go into the jars. I want to share with you something that's going to make your life really easy, and it's a canning funnel. This will help you get the caramel sauce into the funnel and not all over your cutting board. So I'm just going to pour the caramel into the jar, be delicious on ice cream, be delicious with cookies. Be delicious on a spoon. You just want to give yourself a little bit of room at the end, okay. [SOUND] Seal it up A tag and bow and you're ready to go. Caramel sauce for gift-giving for the holidays. Bon apetit, y'all. [BLANK_AUDIO]