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Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

This is the recipe for the caramel sauce that goes on top of coffee panna cotta.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 cup

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2006


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved, beans discarded


  1. Put sugar and 1/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Let syrup boil, swirling pan occasionally, until medium amber, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla seeds; cook, stirring constantly, until syrup is just thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. If it is too thin, cook 2 to 3 minutes more; if it is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Pour though a fine sieve into a bowl. Let cool completely.

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