Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce
A classic to have on hand for desserts, tarts, sundaes, and lovers of caramel lattes
2 cups sugar
1 T corn syrup
2 T water
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
4 T unsalted butter


Heat the water, sugar and corn syrup in a medium-large (but deep) stainless steel or heavy-bottomed saucepan, fitted with a  good candy thermometer. I use a deep 4-quart pot and have a flat-edged candy thermometer

Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise down the middle, only cutting thru one side. Open it up and scrape out the pods. Put the pod paste and the scraped bean into a small saucepan with the cream. 

Heat the cream and vanilla bean over low-medium heat. You don't need to boil it (and don't, because it will make a mess if it boils). 

Cook the sugar until it turns a deep amber and approaches 360° F. Once it reaches that temp, immediately remove from the heat and carefully (and slowly!) pour the hot cream and vanilla bean into the amber sugar. It will get very excited and bubbly. Just pour slowly and you won't make a mess or hurt yourself.  Stir and allow to cool for several minutes, then add the butter and stir gently until melted and just combined. Now it's done. You can transfer it to a squeeze bottle or glass jar once it's cooled a bit more.

Store caramel sauce in the refrigerator, reheating as necessary. Keeps for awhile (a few months).