burnt caramel sauce being poured over ice cream


Sugar, salt and fat is the perfect trinity that makes salted caramel a heavy hitter among desserts. So how to improve perfection? Disconnect the smoke alarm and let it burn.

Burning sugar brings out an intense, smoky flavor coupled with an amazing, buttery finish. It’s completely counterintuitive and yet effective. The layers of flavor just keep going and going and going. Burnt Caramel Sauce is hands down the most requested flavor in my arsenal.

the burn

A word of caution, this is not for the faint of heart. I am serious about disconnecting the smoke alarm. The key to success is going against every culinary instinct and let the caramel turn almost black and even as it seems to be heading toward disaster – do nothing! The minute smoke appears is the magic moment to take it off the heat.

safety first

Hot sugar can cause third-degree burns. The steam created from adding liquids to hot sugar can also burn. Protect your hands with an oven mitt and never put your face over the pot while adding ingredients to the hot sugar. Mis en place (having everything measured ahead of time) is crucial for working quickly without distraction.

Scare tactics aside, I make this recipe about once a month and despite a few close calls, I remain unscarred.


Burnt Caramel Sauce is great as a topping for ice cream or as a mix-in swirl. There’s no shame eating it straight out of the jar either.



A completely over the top addictive caramel sauce. Bringing the sugar to the brink of disaster creates an intense, smoky flavor coupled with an amazing, buttery finish. The layers of flavor just keep going and going and going

  • Author: MJ


  • 225g  sugar
  • 139g  heavy cream
  •   70g  light corn syrup
  •   58g  butter in chunks


Gently warm the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Place sugar in a small heavy bottom saucepan with high sides over medium heat. Stir the sugar until it is almost all melted then allow it to cook undisturbed. Let the sugar turn an almost black brown.  If the sugar foams up give it a quick stir to settle it.

When it’s nearly black, smokey and there’s with a few big bubbles on the surface it’s ready. Immediately take it off the heat. Take your time and work carefully while wearing an oven mitt – the sugar is very very hot.  Stir in the corn syrup.   Stand back and add the warm cream (the mixture will foam up)*

Keep stirring the caramel, scrapping the bottom. Add in the butter one chunk at a time, stirring until fully incorporated. Carefully pour the hot caramel into a container and allow to cool before refigerating. 


  • Not only can the hot sugar burn you, so can the steam created when adding liquids to the hot sugar. Don’t put your face directly over the pot, stand back and wear an oven mitt.   


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