Author: Emma Chapman,Desserts,Food,Sweet,

Golden Salted Caramel with Cracked Black Pepper (via abeautifulmess.com) Caramel sauce is getting a little upgrade with the addition of turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and (of course) a little sea salt. Me and salted caramel go way, way back. I've been a big fan for years. I mean, who hasn't? And I thought it would be fun to play around with some added flavors to a classic caramel sauce. The result: spicy, creamy joy you can drizzle over just about anything. 

Golden Salted Caramel with Cracked Black Pepper (via abeautifulmess.com)If you haven't tried the recently somewhat trendy combination of turmeric and pepper (often seen in golden milk, or golden whatever else you have created – it's amazing!), you must. It's SO good. But one word of warning, turmeric has a very yellow color to it, and it can stain white counters or dishes if left unattended too long. So just make sure you whip it up if you get it on anything. Just a little tip I may or may not have learned the hard way. :)

If you've never made caramel sauce before (or caramel in general), I will share exactly how to make this sauce, but some other great resources include this guide from David Lebovitz, and I love Rachel Khoo's simple instructions from My Little French Kitchen which I shared here some time ago. You can also just google how to make caramel. It's not difficult, but it can take a little more practice than other kitchen adventures. So if it's your first time, I'd read a little more about the process first just so you'll feel really confident and won't end up with a pan of crusted, burnt caramel that is a nightmare to clean. 

How to make golden caramel sauceGolden Salted Caramel with Cracked Black Pepper, makes about one cup of sauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons butter (I like unsalted here as we'll be adding more salt anyway.)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground or cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium size saucepan, combine most of the sugar (1/2 cup) and the water. Cook over medium heat until it becomes a deep brown color. You won't need to stir this much if at all, but if you do, use a heatproof rubber spatula just to scrape the sides so no sugar sticks along the edges. The mixture will first become a white colored liquid, then it will look kind of crackly or crunchy (don't worry, it's not ruined! keep cooking), and then it will begin to turn brown. Really keep an eye on it as it begins to brown as it may brown quite quickly. If at any point it begins to smoke, turn down your heat and remove the pan away from the heat so the caramel does not burn. 

How to make caramel sauceOnce the mixture has turned that deep, golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and add in the remaining sugar as well as the other ingredients. Be careful as you do this. It will probably spit and sputter at you as you add the other ingredients. You don't want to get hot sugar on your skin. Not only will it burn, it will also stick unlike hot water, which would just roll off. So be careful as you work. 

The mixture may appear to stay somewhat segmented here, like the cream isn't incorporating well with the sugar yet. That's OK. Now put the pan back over your heat source, turned down to low/medium, and use a whisk to gently stir the sauce until it comes together. Cook for another 2-3 minutes after it's become one cohesive sauce so that it will thicken up a bit. Remove from the heat and allow to cool some before transferring to a jar or small bowl. 

Golden Salted Caramel with Cracked Black Pepper (via abeautifulmess.com)  Once your pan has cooled a little, place it in your sink and fill with hot soapy water for an hour or more. This will make it easier to scrub your pan clean later. 

So, what is this sauce good on? Well, ice cream is obviously my favorite option here, but this would also be great drizzled over cupcakes, pound cakes, sheet cakes, bundt cakes (maybe I just should have said cakes?), cookies, brownies, peanut butter toast, or even added to some Greek yogurt or apple slices for a slightly healthier option. Whatever sauce you don't use within the day, just store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (probably longer would be OK too). The sauce will harden some in the cold, but you can reheat in the microwave briefly if you want to make it easier to pour or drizzle again. Enjoy! xx. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

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