Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Salted Peanut Butter Caramel "Sauce"

My friends have asked me, well, practically begged me  for the recipe for this Salted Peanut Butter Caramel "sauce".  I use it in many ways.  The favorite application so far is to layer it in Belgium chocolate cups with caramelized peanuts.  Here you are Juanita.

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce

1 Cup sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup (this can be omitted)
1/4 cup water
1 Cup heavy cream
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)

Place the sugar and corn syrup in a large heavy bottomed sauce pan,  Pour the water in evenly around the sides of the pan.  Cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil and place the lid on the saucepan for 2 minutes (the steam should develop and drip down the insides of the pan).  At this point do not stir - it will cause granulation in your caramel sauce.

Remove the lid and boil until it the sugar becomes a dark amber color, gently swirling occasionally.  Warm the cream in a saucepan, do not boil (or your stove will be a giant mess).  Remove the pan from the heat and, while stirring, gently pour in the cream (it will bubbly vigorously and the caramel may solidify).  Place back over the heat and gently stir until the caramel is simmering and melted together with the cream.  Reduce heat to medium and add the vanilla, lemon juice peanut butter and salt and stir just until it comes back to a simmer.

At this point I normally take a very small 1/2 teaspoonful and put it in a glass ramekin so it cools quickly.  Then I can taste the caramel and decide if it needs more salt.  I use a very fine grained sea salt.  If you use table salt you may need to increase the amount.