Corn Milk Caramel

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  10 servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  40 minutes

Corn Milk Caramel

The natural sugars in corn and milk endow this caramel with extra richness. The recipe makes use of corn cobs, so when you have any from any tasty corn salad, freeze the leftover cobs and make this incredible caramel.


2 cups (457 grams) granulated sugar

¾ cup (12 tablespoons/ 166 grams) salted European-style butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

1½ cups heavy cream

2 corn cobs, scraped of all corn and cut in half, kernels reserved for another use (see Kitchen Tip)


  1. Heat a grill pan to high. Place the corn cobs on it and grill for about 10 minutes, until they begin to brown and char. Remove from the grill.
  2. Combine the heavy cream and grilled corn cobs in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the milk has reduced in volume by one-third. Remove from the heat.
  3. Prepare the sugar and butter mixture: Pour the sugar into a large heavy saucepan, spreading it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set over medium-high heat, and cook, whisking it as the sugar begins to melt. You’ll see that the sugar will begin to form clumps, but that’s okay. Just keep whisking and as it continues to cook, they will melt back down. Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks. Use a pastry brush  dipped in cold water to brush down the side of the pan occasionally, if sugar crystals form.
  4. Continue cooking for about 6 to 9 minutes, until the sugar takes on a thick, syrupy consistency and a deep amber color, and a candy thermometer dipped into it reads 345°F.
  5. Add the butter all at once and step back for just a moment while the butter boils up. (Be careful to avoid getting burned.) Whisk the butter into the caramel just until it is completely melted.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the warm cream into the caramel, being careful to avoid getting burned, because the mixture will once again bubble up. Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce.
  7. Set the sauce aside to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. You can use it immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 weeks. It’s great over our Charred Sweet Corn Ice Cream or any ice cream or other dessert that calls for caramel sauce.

Kitchen Tips

  1. To cut the kernels off an ear of corn, place it on a work surface. Cut it in half crosswise. Stand it on the work surface, cut-side-down, and with a sharp knife, cut downward to remove the kernels.
  2. This recipe was adapted from the wonderful baking website:


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