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in the kitchen with: kathreinerle’s salted caramel spread

by Kristina Gill

Usually, we try to alternate the recipes on In the Kitchen With between savory and sweet for a balance. If ever there were a reason you’d excuse me for not keeping up the alternation, I’m betting this week’s recipe by photographer and pastry chef Kathrin Koschitzki for confiture caramel au beurre salé (salted caramel spread) is it. This is one of those recipes that you really shouldn’t attempt if you are prone to addictions. If you’re the kind of person who tastes something really good and finishes the whole package/jar . . . steer clear! The rest of you, feel free to make a batch of this at your earliest convenience to savor when you feel you need it the most. The salt in the caramel is a nice touch. I bet it would be heavenly on Catherine Taret’s crepes! — Kristina

About Kathrin: “Kathreinerle” grew up in Munich, Germany, and loves Magritte and cotton candy. After studying photography design in Germany, she moved to Paris to learn the trade of French pastry and become a pâtissière. Her blog, PHOTISSERIE, is the combination of her two professions, photography and patisserie, and covers the day-to-day discoveries that sweeten her life.

The full recipe is after the jump….

Confiture Caramel au Beurre Salé


  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar (300g)
  • 1.7 ounces water (50g/approx. 3.5 tablespoons)
  • 2 sticks + 1 tablespoon butter (240g), cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon + a pinch of salt (5g) [If you use salted butter, you may omit this additional salt]
  • 6.7 ounces cream (200g), warmed [I used 35% fat cream]


1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan, and cook on low heat until it turns golden brown. Do not overmix, or your sugar will crystallize.

2. Add the butter little by little while gently stirring with a wooden spoon. (Be careful! The mixture is very hot; it sizzles and might splatter.)

3. Add the salt, and cook for an additional two minutes.

4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the warmed cream. Mix until well combined.

5. Pour into jars and let cool.  The spread should keep for at least three months in the refrigerator.

6. Keep in the refrigerator so that your confiture has a beautiful, spreadable consistency.

A few notes on cooking the sugarWhen you cook your sugar, stir as little as possible. It´s actually enough to just rotate the pan a bit.  Cook it until you get a golden brown colour (about 5 minutes on the highest temperature, if you have a thermometer, 190° C is perfect, but don´t worry the range is not too small, a golden brown colour is as good as a lightly golden brown one, just don´t burn it.)  Some people find it easier to do this step without water.  Adding water just makes it easier for you: it helps the sugar to heat evenly in the pan. All the water will be evaporated when your sugar gets golden so the result is exactly the same.


Why Kathreinerle Chose This Recipe
My favourite recipes are those that make a giant leap between what you start with and your end result. The confiture caramel au beurre salé is the epitome of those recipes: It is simple to make, the ingredients may already be in your kitchen (it’s only sugar, butter, salt and cream) and the result is just incredible. I make it a lot for small presents when friends invite me over, and people always ask for more!

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  • I just wanted to let you know that the website displays fine in Firefox but not well at all in Opera, all of the text is missing, though you can see the photos.

    • jen

      can you clear your cache and try again? we fixed the opera bug yesterday and tested it on the most recent 3 versions of opera with success. if that doesn’t work, can you tell me which version of opera you’re using and what machine you’re viewing on?


  • oh man, this would be so good spread on some crackers with aged gouda. i am totally making this.

  • This looks divine. But since I am one of those people who will eat the whole lot in one sitting, I’m not sure if I should make it!

    I also use Opera and the site is working fine for me now.

  • Alexis – oooo with crackers and gouda?? sounds like heaven!

    This looks so delish and very easy, i will have to try it! Can anyone help clarify what “warmed” cream means? Does it mean zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds, or just room temp, or something else entirely? I love to cook but not very experienced with pastry and sugar.

  • This sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to share it with friends as a gift! Can you tell me though, how would this keep, and should it remain refrigerated? Also, could you can it?

  • @Jamie I would just warm the cream a bit in a pot on the stove. (I don’t have a microwave, so I don’t know how warming it (maybe on low?) would work).

    @Trina Do you think it would last long enough to go bad? ;-)

  • Oh my. I don’t know that I trust myself to make this, I would eat it with a spoon…

  • That looks absolutely incredible! The hubby and I tried to make something like that without a recipe and it turned into hard toffee candy, oops!

    We’ll definitely be trying this recipe, and soon! YUM!

  • @jamie — i’m by no means a pastry chef, but when i bake breads and it calls for warm water or warm milk, i use hot tap water (100 degrees F) and a quick zap (30 sec at a time) to warm the milk (also to 100 degrees F).

    i cannot WAIT to try this!

  • Wow, First of all, I LOVE the new Design Sponge design!!!

    ok, so about the post:

    The Caramel au beurre salé just seems so yummy! I’ve been looking several place to find a caramel spread to cook at home! This one looks so creamy!!!

  • The cream should be prewarmed so that the temperature difference between the hot caramel and the cream is not too big when you combine them. Just put it for some seconds in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Glad you like it!

  • Your photos are absolutely lovely! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe. I’m thinking French toast, some maple syrup, a little nutella and your confiture equals heaven. Now, I imagine this question is totally unnecessary, but about how long do you think it would keep before spoiling? Thank you!

  • Wow – looks absolutely amazing! I would eat the entire jar so this will have to be saved for a food gift – so I can lick the spoon! Thanks for sharing!

  • If I made this for wedding favors, how long does it keep? Should it be stored in the refrigerator? This looks so delicious!

  • I am trying to make this recipe right now and am having problems preventing the sugar from crystallizing. Is it possible that the sugar should not be stirred at all. Even so I notice crystallization around edges. Normal? Or are there some type of sugars that work better than others? Clearly, I have not made enough caramels in my life!

  • Ooohhh this sounds incredible, can’t wait to give it a go! May I ask what the fat content of the cream used is, so I can get the right kind of cream in my country? I find it easier to match creams by fat % than by name :)

  • You can keep the confiture for at least 3 month in your fridge.
    When you cook your sugar, stir as less as possible. It´s actually enough to just rotate the pan a bit. Cook it until you get a golden brown colour (about 5 minutes on the highest temperature, if you have a thermometer, 190° C is perfect, but don´t worry the range is not too small, a golden brown colour is as good as a lightly golden brown one, just don´t burn it.)
    The cream I used had 35 % of fat.
    Thanks for all your nice comments and enjoy your spread!

  • Do you recommend using salted or unsalted butter for this?
    Looks amaaaazing!

  • Beautiful post with lovely photos! What is the font used on the label for the jar, please?

  • yum! plus – love the new layout! first time i’ve been on the site and not viewing in my reader!!

  • yummmmmmmmmmm!! the thought of a spoonful of this has really got my juices flowing. like Lisa, i was wondering if it matters whether you use salted or unsalted butter? from what i know, i think that in this recipe a little more or less salt at that point would affect only the flavour (slightly) and not the chemistry of its working – but it’s only a guess.

  • If you use salted butter you do not have to add any additional salt. the result will be the same.
    The label on the jar is my handwriting :-)

  • Should I use kosher salt or sea salt? Does it matter? Thanks! I’m going to make this and swirl a bit into a pan of brownies prior to baking. Should be divine.

  • I’m not even a caramel ‘lover’ [or much into cooking or anything] but this caught my attention. First as possible gift idea, and then with all the great comments of suggestions of what to use it on.
    And really great pictures.

  • my boss got me addicted to salted caramel candies …i think i should probably make this for her! don’t know if she’s going to love me or hate me for it ;) gracias!

  • Thanks for the delicious recipe! turned out great (pic here: http://twitpic.com/57h7s4). Seriously, I could eat myself sick on this stuff.

    One note, I preferred omitting the water and using David Lebovitz’s dry method instead. I had to turn the heat up to more of a medium instead of low on step one to get the sugar to melt and to get a nice color going. Also good caramel tips……have ice water nearby and wear longsleeves!: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/01/how-to-make-the/

  • Adding water just makes it easier for you: it helps the sugar to heat evenly in the pan. All the water will be evaporated when your sugar gets golden so the result is exactly the same!
    Jen thanks for sharing your result! When you put your confiture in the fridge it will get a spreadable consistency.

  • I tried this twice, and my sugar/water mix crystallized before turning golden both times. I’m not stirring, just swirling the pot- any suggestions about what I could do differently? Now I have this serious craving for caramel apples, and I can’t fulfill it… help!

  • Made this tonight 5 minutes after reading the recipe! Can’t wait for it to thickening before the morning. I told my husband we were going to have caramel crepes for breakfast. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • This looks so wonderful! I’d been looking for a yummy caramel idea for my wedding favors. I do have a quick question: any idea how many ounces this recipe makes? Love the pictures!

  • What a simple and beautiful recipe! I tried this recipe last night and the sugar carmalized a bunch, but a couple last minute swirls seemed to convince the sugar to all redisolve, magically. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, but after a night in the fridge it separated a little bit and the texture became a little grainy. Any thoughts on how to remedy this or avoid it in the future?

  • i had such trouble with crystallization with this recipe that i finally gave up and found another dry caramel recipe that worked like a dream. i really wanted to try this though!

  • I agree with earlier posts that the photographs of this post are fantastic! I also found that I had to use medium heat in step one as opposed to low.

  • What kind of cream? the pictures look like sugar and cut up butter. I can’t figure out the other two. It looks divine, would love to try to make it.

  • Quick question : Is that creme fraiche or regular cream used in that recipe ? Thanks

  • I have just made this for the first time – I think the final magic ingredient is patience! I’m from the UK and only had Caster sugar which is finer than Granulated but it still worked. I also used Whipping Cream after googling the comparable fat content to the cream used in the recipe.

    The first batch of sugar crystalised – I didn’t know what crystalised sugar actually looked like until it happened to mine! So that was swiftly binned and I started again after the ire subsided! haha! When I put the sugar into the pot for my 2nd attempt I covered the base evenly this time and then put the water over the top of it – again more evenly. I then did not stir it AT ALL this time – I didn’t even tip the pot until the mixture started turning golden. I also found I had to cook it on a medium+ heat. It’s currently chilling at the window and I cannot wait to to eat it! It filled 2 x 340g jam jars with a little left over for the ‘chef’ ;) x

  • P.S. I also kept a pastry brush and a jug of water nearby while carrying out stage one of the recipe on my 2nd attempt (I googled advice before I tried again). Anytime the sugar stuck to the side of the pot while it was bubbling I wiped the pastry brush around the pot to help prevent the sugar crystalising again – worked a treat!

  • Oh my, this is delicious! Took me 3 goes not to crystalise it, but flip, end result makes your bread taste like malva pudding! (for anyone who knows what that is) Best make this as presents, cos it is daaangerous :)

  • I did this and all went smoothly, until I added the cream (30%), I know have lots and lots of awesome caramel sauce…was it the fat content? What went wrong? :(

  • I just tried this and it looks good so far! It’s chilling at the moment. Thanks for an awesome recipe. Love it!

  • I have just made some of this now! Bit confused at the beginning because I’ve never done that with sugar before, but with a bit of patience it went okay and the end result has the right colour and consistency so hopefully it’s gone okay :) I was left with a bit of residue in the pan though…I tried some and it was verrrrrrry salty, wondering if I’ve miscalculated or 5grams is too much for me- but I hope the rest of the batch doesn’t taste like that! Fun recipe though :D

  • Have to admit, wasn’t majorly impressed. I suspect I may have burned it but it seemed impossible not to with no stirring allowed. I had it on the lowest heat possible… Is there a knack I’m not getting?

    I mean, its edible, but by no means addictive…

  • sorry, this is kinda weird that there’s no time measure for cooking the sugar on low flame. 10 minutes? 30? You emphasized to make it all so quick so it won’t burned that my whole thing came out very fare and very liquid. Too bad:(

  • When you mention warmed cream, do you mean room temparature or warmed on the oven?

  • I’ve been making caramel for years it’s so simple. Instead of mucking around, I halved the recipe used yellow sugar, butter and 18% cream. Cook in a large glass bowl in the microwave 5.30
    (5 and 1/2 minutes) until golden brown .do not stir until the time is up. Remove from microwave, add salt ( I use himilayan pink salt) and whisk for about 10 seconds . Pour on your buttered pan and let set.

  • Hello, I’m from Indonesia and caramel spread is uncommon here, and I’ve been wondering about how great it tastes! I can’t wait to try it in my kitchen! One question though, since I’m allergic to dairy products, can I use margarine instead of butter?

    • Margarine doesn’t have enough fat in it to make it creamy. Also there is cream in the recipe, which is dairy as well and you can’t really subsitute that. Perhaps someone out there has made a coconut cream spread you could try instead?