The easiest ever slow cooker (crockpot) home made condensed milk caramel sauce, made without cream or fuss. Perfectly smooth, not grainy, slow cooker caramel!
Do you know that feeling, when you realise that you’ve somehow acquired a dreadful new habit? One that has appeared from nowhere but is almost impossible to shake off?
The other night (morning) as I put my iPhone down at 1am to go to sleep, I realised that yet a-bloody-gain I’d been suckered in to the time sapping vortex that is Pinterest. I often feel like I’ve got no time to finish the jobs I want to, you know, all of the important stuff like having my eyebrows threaded and reorganising my stash of greetings cards. It turns out that perhaps I know where my time is going.
But honestly, how can you argue with pure genius like this? This is slow cooker (or crock pot if you fancy) condensed milk caramel. It’s all over Pinterest, all of the cool kids are doing it.
So today I’m not showing you anything new, but as I’m planning on using this crockpot condensed milk caramel in a couple of cakes I thought I’d share a few of my tips for making it.
The general idea for this slow cooker caramel is an unopened tin can of sweetened condensed milk, cooked slowly until it turns to caramel. Yes, it’s actual, bone fide magic! You don’t need to use a slow cooker (or crockpot). Word on the street is that you can boil the cans on a very low heat on the hob for 2 – 3 hours for the same effect.
Tips for making the Slow Cooker Caramel:
- If you cook the cans of sweetened condensed milk in your slow cooker, put a sheet of baking paper inside the bowl under the cans so that they don’t mark the pot.
- If you cook this in the unopened cans, once you’ve done the cooking and cooling process, you can store the unopened cans of slow cooker caramel at room temperature indefinitely.
- The only problem with cooking it in the cans is you can’t see when the caramel is made, as all slow cookers vary in temperature, this does take a bit of practise. Mine takes 8 hours on high but yours might take less time if it’s newer than my old relic.
- It is possible to over-cook the caramel. It becomes very firm. Even then, if you warm it up a little in a pan or the microwave, it will soften for spreading on cakes or pouring.
- You can choose to decant the condensed milk into sealable, watertight jars before cooking in the crock pot. The benefit to this is that you can see when the caramel is made. The negative is that you can’t store it at room temperature, unopened like you can with the cans.
- Try adding sea salt flakes (before if decanting into jars to cook, or after if cooking in the cans) for condensed milk salted caramel sauce, oh YES.
- Don’t open the cans until they are cold. I’m not sure why, but I found when I was a bit eager to open them the texture of the caramel was grainy (and stayed that way) compared to the super smooth cooled caramel.
- Make sure it’s “condensed” milk, not “evaporated”, they don’t work in the same way.
- I use this condensed milk (available from Amazon) and these pretty 324ml jars (also on Amazon).
- Through all my obsessive Pinterest research on this caramel, I can’t seem to find a definitive answer as to how long it lasts once the can is opened. General consensus seems to be 2 weeks in the fridge, although I haven’t tested this. I would love to say I will do and report back, but it doesn’t seem to last that long before being eaten. Oops.
Things I used to make the condensed milk caramel sauce:
NB! All of the tins say “don’t boil unopened” in case the can explodes.. Please don’t shout at me if for some crazy reason your can explodes. I’ve done this a lot of times and have never had one explode or heard of one explode. Please just be careful, make sure the pan doesn’t boil dry and the can is fully covered and use your lowest slow cooker setting, building it up gradually if it’s not well cooked enough.
How to make the Condensed Milk Caramel Sauce:
- Tins of Condensed Milk
- Pop your tins, unopened into your slow cooker (crock pot).
- Cover completely with water.
- Cook on medium or high for 8 hours.
- Remove, allow to cool.
The condensed milk caramel sauce makes a fab (super easy but impressive sounding) gift too. What will you make with your caramel? Salted caramel sauce? Peanut butter caramel sauce?! Are you a salted or unsalted caramel person? Ice-cream, cake, or just with a spoon?
Pin the Slow Cooker Caramel for later:
Use the slow cooker caramel in this Rocky Road Layer Cake:
Use the slow cooker caramel in this Caramel Egg Cheesecake: