I have embarked on an adventure that has forced me to bring my own sanity into question. It didn’t seem this crazy when I did it for my own wedding. Nor did it feel that way when I did the same for a small handful of friends’ weddings. I have agreed to make the cakes for my cousin’s wedding this month.
I can do this. I can manage my time. Write out a plan for what to do each day leading up to the wedding and stick to it. Not a problem. Been there, done that. Well, not exactly…. You see, I agreed to this when there was an estimated 100 guests. Still larger than any wedding I have baked for before but not by much. But, now there are roughly “200, plus or minus 25,” according to my cousin. Oh boy…
The bride and groom are without a plan B. While my plan B is to hit up costco if this whole plan goes to hell and a hand basket, I am plan A. YIKES!
So, I have begun the adventure of baking for 200 (give or take). We – meaning the bride, groom and I – have a plan. We have flavors selected, and colors, flowers, cake toppers, and stands coordinated. And I am ready! Well, semi-sorta, non-professionally ready……. Ok, totally unprepared and feeling more panicked by the minute.
But like I said I am plan A, so I have begun round 1 of baking, vacuum sealing and freezing baked cake. Thank goodness for family with industrial sized freezers and vacuum sealers! This week I got a jump on the chocolate cakes. And because my cousin hadn’t tasted this flavor yet, I made a semi-mini batch of the filling and frosting as well.
Her filling is gooey salted caramel. Homemade, soft, gooey, salted caramel. In case you were wondering, the last sentence can also be read: “The Best Cake Filling of All Time!”
Now the 2nd best part about this filling is that it is also a sauce… And gooey salted caramel sauce is great on
ice-cream, apple slices, brownies EVERYTHING!! So I gave my cousin and her fiancé a bit to taste with the mini-cakes and then I may or may not have kept the rest for myself. 😉
As such we have been enjoying dunking apple slices, drizzling on ice-cream sundays, over brownies and french toast and coffee, etc. Shoot, who am I kidding!? We have been eating caramel like it is going out of style.
So if you are a fan of rich, sweet, gooey, slightly salty caramel then prepare for caramel nirvana. This caramel is super easy and quick! No candy thermometer required (although having one handy wouldn’t hurt)!
Gooey Salted Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 tbl. heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt (or more to taste)
Chill a small metal spoon in the freezer. In a saucepan, bring butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, and condensed milk to a boil while stirring constantly. Slowly stir in heavy cream. Allow to boil for a couple minutes longer while stirring. Remove spoon from freezer and dip back of spoon in caramel. If the caramel coats the spoon and cools to a soft, gooey texture, then it is done. Also known as softball stage (238 degrees if you are using a candy thermometer)! For this recipe, you do not want cook it long enough that the caramel turns chewy. Once it reaches the softball stage quickly stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour caramel sauce into a heat proof bowl to cool. If you left it in the sauce pan, it will continue to cook!
If you are making this as a cake filling, allow caramel to cool completely. Then simply create a dam with whatever frosting you are planning to use around the edge before adding the caramel to the layer. This way it will stay in place.
This recipe makes over 2 cups of sauce! Plenty of caramel to go ’round;) Apple slice anyone? Or how about a brownie sunday?
Also, how cute caramel sauce be as a hostess or Christmas gift in a mason jar?! (No need to refrigerate!) Gift me some of that, please! Gooey and delicious!!