There is a ton of chocolate in stores this time of year. With Valentine’s Day recently over and Easter right around the corner, I can’t help but be inspired by the massive amounts of chocolate treats everywhere. I was craving salty caramel this past week and tried to find some great recipes that brought together the deliciousness of chocolate, salt and caramel. To my surprise, there wasn’t a great deal out there. Therefore, I decided to combine a couple recipes I found to create this envisioned beauty. This recipe was adapted by NY Times food author Jill Santopietro and the food blog Adventures Made from Scratch. It is simple and perfect for your chocolate cravings. Not to mention, these treats taste a million times better than any store bought candy out there.
You will need:
1-1/3 cups whipping cream
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup honey
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp fleur de sel or sea salt
1.5 pounds dark chocolate, finely chopped
Silicone or plastic mold and candy thermometer (not pictured)
In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, bring the cream to a boil.
Add the sugar, corn syrup and honey and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 257 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer, 15 to 30 minutes.
As you can see at 203 degrees Fahrenheit, the colour is still pretty yellow.
The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going until it is melted completely and an amber colour.
Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown. The darker you cook the sugar without burning it, the better the sauce will be. It’s ready when it’s the colour of a well-worn penny.
Do not allow the sauce to burn!
Remove the pan from the heat
Stir in the butter, vanilla and 2 teaspoons salt.
Completely cool. I put the saucepan in the fridge to speed up the process.
This caramel recipe makes a lot of sauce, so you will have extra.
The remainder can be stored for up to one month in the refrigerator.
Fill a pastry bag with cooled caramel sauce.
Break up the chocolate into small chunks.
Place 2/3 of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and place over a saucepan with a small amount of barely simmering water. Ensure the bowl does not touch the water and be very careful not to get any of the water in the chocolate.
Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the chocolate so that it melts evenly and very slowly.
Remove from heat.
Add small amounts of the remaining 1/3 unmelted chocolate chunks and stir in to melt. Continue to add small additions of chocolate, stirring frequently.
Holding the chocolate molds over the bowl of chocolate, pour the melted chocolate into molds (I used silicone flower molds).
Knock the mold against a hard surface to remove bubbles.
Turn upside down over the bowl to let the excess chocolate drip out.
Turn right side up and drag a scraper across so that all the chocolate in between the wells is scraped off cleanly, leaving only chocolate filled wells.
Put in the fridge to set for 5-10 minutes.
Fill each of the chocolate coated molds with caramel.
Do not fill all the way to the top, as there needs to be room left for the chocolate.
Place in the refrigerator to set for 5-10 minutes.
Finish the molds with a layer of chocolate.
Knock the mold against a hard surface again to remove bubbles.
Sprinkle each with a little of the remaining sea salt. Allow to set fully in the refrigerator – about 20 minutes.
Once set, carefully unmold the chocolates.
Cute little chocolate flowers full of salty, yet sweet, caramel goodness.