How to make caramel (with step-by-step photos) on

Caramel seems tricky, I know, but it is actually quite simple. And even though recipes may vary on exact amounts, they all follow this structure:

1. Cook the sugar (with or without water – this recipe uses it), without stirring, until it becomes a dark amber color.

2. Off heat, add heavy cream in small amounts while whisking constantly. Caramel will bubble violently.

3. Once all of the cream has been added, return to low heat and stir constantly until any lumps have been melted and mixture is smooth.

4. Whisk in vanilla, salt, and/or liquor if desired.

For more caramel-making tips and step-by-step photos, see my full caramel tutorial.