Put the water and granulated sugar into a heatproof bowl and microwave at 600 W for 3 minutes. Shake the bowl every minute.
Heat until it has developed a light color. Heat for 10 seconds at a time, checking the color as you go (10 seconds at a time, about 4-6 times).
If it comes to a boil and develops a caramel color as in the picture, it's okay.
Take it out of the microwave, add the hot water, and mix with a spoon. When adding the water, it will splatter, so be careful.
Strain through a tea strainer while it is still hot.
It will have a pretty color like a glittering jewel.
Once cooled, it will take on the consistency like maple syrup.
If you chill it well in the refrigerator, it will take on the consistency of honey.
Different microwaves will require different heating times, so keep your eye on it and adjust as needed.
The size of your heatproof bowl will also affect the heating time. If you use a 13 cm bowl, first heat for 3 minutes, then 10 seconds at a time for 4 times thereafter.
If using a 16 cm bowl, first heat for 3 minutes, then 10 seconds at a time for 6 times.
If your bowl is too small, when it comes to a boil or when you're adding the hot water, it will spit, so use a bowl with some spare space.
If you want it to have a strong and slightly bitter taste, heat until the color has darkened to your preference. The sauce shown in the top photo is on the lighter sauce.
You can use this in steamed pudding. It won't harden even if refrigerated, so you can use it on some pudding firmed up with gelatin.
You can use it in many other ways as well.
Story Behind this Recipe
Caramel sauce depends on the timing of removing it from heat. If your timing is off, it will be too bitter and won't flow right. So I wanted to make a pretty, slightly bitter caramel sauce. I experimented with the amount of water and the timing of heating and came up with my ideal caramel sauce.
With this amount, you can make 6 pudding cups with the leftovers, but don't try to make a smaller amount or you will likely fail. You can store the remaining amount in the refrigerator without worrying about it hardening.