Sauces

November 22, 2021

Charred Rosemary and Sage Salted Caramel

Charred Rosemary & Sage Salted Caramel Sauce

If you are looking for a unique way to add depth and flavor to a dessert or drink, this is the recipe for you. This charred rosemary & sage salted caramel sauce is so much more than a traditional sweetener or sauce. With tones of herbs and smoke, this sauce will have you thinking it just spent the last decade in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel.

We love adding this salted caramel to our chocolate desserts or bourbon cocktails! It allows us to put the love for sweets into even the most savory palates.

The two things that make this caramel sauce so great are the depth of flavor and the ease at which it can be made.


Why Use Corn Syrup?

To make a traditional caramel sauce you quite literally caramelize sugar and then add some sort of dairy such as cream or butter to smooth it out and prevent it from becoming hard like candy. While the process seems easy enough, it can prove to be quite tricky for those not used to working with cooked sugar. Something as subtle as one errant drop of water can cause the whole mixture to crystalize and there is no coming back from that. Your sauce will become a sheet of crystalized sugar that will be very difficult to remove from your pot. The only thing worse than messing up a recipe is knowing that you now have a big mess to clean up as well.

To prevent the possibility of having the whole mixture crystallize, we liike to add corn syrup when caramelizing the sugars. The corn syrup acts as a buffer of sorts and breaks up the sugar molecules and prevents the possible chain reaction. Doing this, you can simply bring the sugar/corn syrup mixture to a boil and cook, stirring throughout, until the granules of sugar turn a light golden brown color. Using this method, even a novice cook can easily make a great caramel sauce.

How to Add Smokiness


What makes this salted caramel so unique is the added rosemary and sage. In order to give the caramel sauce a nice smokey flavor, we like to gently char the herbs, in this case rosemary & sage, with a torch until they become nice and fragrant. This is a similar technique as if you were burning them for incense. Then we submerge them into the cream, once heated, and allow the flavors to steep.

This process gives the cream a subtle smokey flavor where you can still taste the herbs. Right before you add the cream to the cooked sugar, you strain out the herbs using a fine mesh strainer and discard the remains. The flavor will stay in the cream and, as a result, will transfer to the finished sauce.

Ingredients for Charred Rosemary and Sage Salted Caramel

This recipe only calls for 6 ingredients and is quite fast to make! Here's what you need:

  • Granulated Sugar: The granules of sugar are what actually cook in this recipe so the finer grain sugar you use, the more evenly the sugar will cook. The finer the better.
  • Corn Syrup: Corn syrup is what helps stabilize the caramelization process and allows you the freedom of being able to mix throughout. If you don’t have corn syrup or would prefer not to use it, glucose can be used instead.
  • Heavy Cream: The heavy cream is used to “smooth” out the sauce and, as to be expected, create a creamy texture and mouthfeel. The heavy cream is also what prevents the sauce from being solid at room temperature.
  • Herbs: I like to use sage and rosemary because of their strong flavor and lower water content. If you’d prefer to use one or the other, by all means. Another fine herb option is thyme, but I would stay away from the “leafy” herbs such as basil, mint and parsley because they don’t tend to burn as nicely.

Tips for a Perfect Homemade Salted Caramel

  1. Turning the heat off: Turn the heat down to medium-low once the sugar starts to turn a light brown. At this point, the sauce can be quite temperamental and if you still have the heat cranked up it may be tough to turn the heat off at the right time. Lowering the heat allows you to have a bigger window for timing the sauce.
  2. Don’t forget about carryover cooking: As the sugars caramelize and turn brown, you are going to want to turn the heat off before the sugars reach a deep amber color. At this point, you should take the pot off the heat and continue stirring until the sugar stops cooking and steam stops being released. If you do not, and instead, simply turn off the pot and leave the mixture in the pot, the sugars will continue to cook and burn quite quickly.

This rosemary and sage salted caramel is perfect for drinks and desserts such as a caramel cheesecake. We are so excited for you to try this one!

Cheers and eat well!

Charred Rosemary and Sage Salted Caramel

This charred rosemary & sage salted caramel sauce is so much more than a traditional sweetener or sauce. With tones of herbs and smoke, this sauce will have you thinking it just spent the last decade in a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel.

Author:

Jamie Imlah

Prep:

2

min

cook:

15

min

total:

17

min

serves:

16

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of corn syrup
  • 3 large sprigs of sage (about 25 leaves)
  • 3 large sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Add the heavy cream and the salt to a pot and heat with medium-low heat.
  2. In the meantime, torch or burn the rosemary and sage so that they start to give off a strong scent. Once burned, transfer the herbs into the cream.
  3. Bring the cream to a soft simmer, turn off the heat, and set aside to steep the herbs flavors into the cream.
  4. While the cream is steeping, add the sugar and corn syrup into a pot (at least 2 quarts large) and heat over medium-high heat. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally (about 4 minutes).
  6. Once the mixture reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook at a steady simmer for 8 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. The sugars will start to caramelize and will gradually start to turn a light brown color.
  8. Once the sugar turns a light brown color throughout, turn off the heat and continue to stir for at least 2 minutes or until the mixture is no longer giving off steam. (If you don’t continue stirring until the mixture has stopped cooking, the sugar will continue cooking and may burn.)
  9. Strain the cream through a fine mesh strainer and add little by little (about ¼ cup at a time) to the sugar mixture, stirring carefully after each pour to incorporate. (BE CAREFUL WHEN ADDING CREAM BECAUSE THE SUGAR MIXTURE WILL BUBBLE AND GIVE OFF STEAM. DO NOT ADD ALL CREAM AT ONCE.)
  10. Once all the cream is fully incorporated, use as desired.

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