Submitted by: Jimmy from Chicago, IL, USA
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
Bring the cream and vanilla bean to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean. Scrape out the tiny seeds with the tip of a knife, and add to the cream. Discard the vanilla bean. Set aside.
Place the sugar and corn syrup in a 3-quart saucepan, and mix with a wooden spoon until as much of the sugar is coated with the syrup as possible. Scrape any sugar back into the pan. Turn the heat to medium. The sugar will begin to break down after 3 or 4 minutes. Stir once or twice, mixing the undissolved sugar into the warm liquid. When it becomes foamy after about 2 more minutes, stop stirring. Continue heating for 2 minutes until the syrup begins to turn medium brown.
Whisk in the butter a little at a time and continue whisking until the mixture comes together. Remove from the heat and very slowly whisk in the cream a little at a time and continue whisking until the mixture comes together again.
The caramel is extremely hot and initially will bubble up as the cream is being added.
Return the saucepan to the burner over low heat and sir until the caramel sauce is completely smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Sauce will thicken as it cools.
Allow the caramel to cool completely before storing in a covered container in the refrigerator. Serve warm.
Instead of discarding the vanilla bean, when you are through with it, rinse it off and add it to some sugar. Let it sit for several days and you will have vanilla flavored sugar.