Caramel sauce for drinks?
I have tried a number of caramel sauce recipes all were rather meh. They lacked intensity, especially if you used them in coffee, cocoa etc.
I have been spending way too much money on bottles of Torani caramel syrup (the squeeze stuff, not the bottled coffee syrup). So are these more intense because they use additives or do I just need a better caramel sauce recipe?
Is this the product you are referring to?
This may be "cheating" but i think that the caramel from sweetened condensed milk is exactly what you want- previous chow thread about it here, just boil the can fully submerged in water for 3 hours. That's it. And its awesome caramel sauce.
Actually for the particular drink it does call for the sauce type syrup rather than the clear-ish coffee simple syrups.
It is a knock off of Sbux caramel brulee latte, caramel syrup (the Torani mentioned by Ttrockwood) and vanilla syrup. I have tried it with regular coffee syrup caramel flavor and it isn't quite the same.
I don't have the two or three I have tried on hand but they were all white sugar, quite a bit of cream, all had some vanilla. Do most people stop at the light brown stage with browning the sugar or get it really brown right to the edge before it scorches?
One recipe I tried had you mix the sugar with water then boil off all the water until you got to the point of being able to brown the sugar. It seemed illogical since other recipes I tried just had you brown the sugar in the pan then add liquids
If you stop at light brown and then you put that syrup into drinks, it will just taste sweet, there will hardly be any caramel taste at all. You want it to smoke and smell the caramelized sugar.
If you make a dry caramel, resist the urge to stir too much, or else you will end up with clumpy sugar. Once it has gotten to a dark amber, carefully but quickly pour in your water or cream.
It would be helpful to know what you've tried so far.
Are you making regular caramel sauce (sugar heated 'til dark, then cream/butter stirred in off heat)?
Things I might recommend:
-add vanilla extract or scraped beans with the cream
-sub in brown sugar for some or all of the white sugar for more flavor
-maybe reducing the amount of cream you add since you will be diluting the caramel in your drinks anyway
-making sure you're adequately browning/caramelizing your sugar before removing it from the heat
-definitely try different recipes if the ones you've been using aren't working out