Here's how it went down:
I placed the sugar, salt, and water into a 2 and a half quart capacity pot. I stirred it, I heated it over medium high heat, stirring to help it along, and it boiled. I brought it down to medium and watched carefully. That's where things went downhill.
It didn't turn golden on the edges. or in the middle. or anywhere. After about 15 or 20 minutes, I turned up the heat to where it was when I set it to medium high, and very very very very slowly, over 20 minutes or so, the mixture started to...not turn golden. but it did start to thicken and crystalize on the edges. I stirred edges into the center occasionally. eventually, the mixture did start to darken. then it stopped bubbling entirely, and after a few minutes did actually turn dark amber. I took it off the heat and added the butter.
That's where things got worse.
the syrup turned into a big solid blob of grainy caramel. The recipe recommends stirring until the butter is absorbed. unfortunately, only about a third of the butter got absorbed, and only in those first seconds, turning the caramel into a solid chunk of blob. after attempting to stir for a while, I eventually poured out the excess butter and added the cream. a little cream got absorbed but again, not much, and it was impossible to stir. I tried putting it back on the heat, but it didn't help. I poured out the cream and tasted what was left. it was delicious but grainy caramel that I could not, in any way, pour over anything. It was also too grainy to bother salvaging for chewing on, and also liekly to harden into werther's type caramel candy rather than kraft caramels...I dumped it in the trash.
I'd blame humidity, but isn't that supposed to make candy unable to set, rather than enable super-setting? also I had the A/C and dehumidifier on.
Today, I attempted a recipe I made back in December from Fran Bigelow's cookbook Pure Chocolate. That time, I used it mainly to make delicious, rich hot chocolate. It's for dessert-topping this time around.
Deepest, Darkest Chocolate Sauce
1 Cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup cocoa (Dutch processed)
First, sift the cocoa into a mixing bowl. You'll be pouring the liquids into it, so make sure its big enough.
Next, stir the cream and sugar in a heavy saucepan, and place over medium heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. When it is dissolved, add the corn syrup. Bring it to a boil, and once it boils, take it off the heat. Pour half the cream mixture into the cocoa, and whisk until smooth. add second half, whisk again until smooth. Then pour through a fine sieve back into the pot. heat over low heat until large bubbles form and the surface is glossy (both times I've done it, I got glossy without the bubbles, but it seems fine as it is super tasty)
remove from heat, cool slightly. serve warm. can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. use on ice cream, pound cake, fruits, whatever. or if its chilly where you are, a spoonful or two in milk heated on the stovetop makes an amazing cup of hot cocoa. it makes about a cup of chocolate sauce, according to the measurements on my mason jar