I’ve been making this simple caramel sauce for awhile now, long before I ventured into the slightly trickier dry sugar-to-caramel method.

I still like this one the best.

Dark brown sugar gives the caramel a deeper flavor, while a hefty sprinkle of sea salt keeps the sweetness in check.

Plus, it has a bit of that buttered rum thing going on.

This was the very first caramel I made, so I had to kind of feel my way around Bobby Flay’s no-frills instructions.

I like exact measurements and specific cooking times and ultimate control over my cooking.

But I’ve learned to loosen up a bit with caramel.

Caramel is more about color

and texture

 and feel

Rum Caramel Sauce

adapted from Bobby Flay

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • sea salt

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over high heat. Carefully whisk in brown sugar and rum.

Liberally sprinkle with sea salt. Bring to a boil.

Whisk in heavy whipping cream and continue to cook.

For saucy sauce, boil for about one minute, whisking frequently, until sauce is warm and slightly thickened.

For thicker sauce, boil for two to three minutes, whisking frequently.

For nice-and-thick, apple-dipping caramel (the way I like it), boil for five to seven minutes, whisking occasionally.

Pour sauce into a bowl and cool slightly, until warm.

Pour over pineapple upside-down cake, fudgy brownies or ice cream. Also, dip apple slices or whole apples (those little reddish McIntosh apples are awesome for dipping) into the sauce.

Store caramel, tightly covered, in refrigerator. Reheat in microwave in 15 to 20 second bursts until caramel turns saucy again.

Note: If you cook it up the super-thick way, the sauce will harden when cooled. No worries. The caramel liquifies beautifully when reheated.