|unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C)|
|pure vanilla extract||.||.|
Have ready a
In a small microwavable measure with a spout, stir together the port and cream. Heat for about 20 seconds, or until hot. Cover it to prevent evaporation and to keep warm.
In a medium heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water until all of the sugar is moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and let the syrup boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber (360°F/180°C or a few degrees below because the temperature will continue to rise). Remove the syrup from the heat as soon as it reaches temperature. Slowly and carefully pour the warm port syrup into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.
Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir the mixture gently, scraping the thicker part that settles on the bottom. Return it to very low heat, continuing to stir gently for 1 minute, until the mixture is uniform in color and the caramel fully dissolved. The caramel will be like a thin sauce, but will thicken after the butter is added and it has cooled.
Remove the caramel from the heat and gently stir in the butter until incorporated. The mixture will be a little streaky but will become uniform once cooled and stirred.
Pour the caramel into the prepared glass measure and let it cool for 3 minutes. Gently stir in the vanilla and let it cool to room temperature, stirring it gently once or twice.
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