Sunday, 1 November 2015

Double Chocolate Caramels

Double Chocolate Caramels - (c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau
(c) 2015 Elizabeth LaBau

 If a little bit of chocolate is good, then a lot of chocolate must be GREAT, right? That's the theory behind these Double Chocolate Caramels! These soft, smooth caramels have a rich chocolate flavor on their own, but they're even better when dipped in a coating of dark chocolate. I topped mine with crunchy cacao nibs, but you could substitute other chocolate toppings like chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips--just be sure to pack in as much chocolate flavor as possible!

  • 14 2/3 oz (1 1/3 cups) light corn syrup
  • 16 1/3 oz (2 1/3 cups) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 oz (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 1/2 oz (1 tbsp) butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 lb semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate candy coating
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs (can substitute chocolate sprinkles or mini chocolate chips)
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9x9 pan caramels

1. Prepare a 9x9-inch square baking pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine the corn syrup, sugar, salt, cream, and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and once simmering, insert a candy thermometer.

3. Continue to cook, stirring frequently to prevent the caramel from scorching on the bottom of the pan.

Cook until the thermometer reads 248 degrees F (120 C).

4. Once it reaches 248 F, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and chopped unsweetened chocolate. Stir until the caramel is smooth and all the chocolate is melted.

5. Pour the caramel out into the prepared. Rap it gently against the table several times to remove any air bubbles. Allow the caramel to set at room temperature for several hours, until completely cool. It can be refrigerated to speed up the process, if you'd like.

6. Once the caramel is set, lift it from the pan using the foil as handles, and turn it face-down to peel off the foil from the back. Cut the caramel into small squares using a sharp, well-oiled knife. Refrigerate the caramels so they're firm enough for dipping—you don't want them soft and bendable.

7. Melt the chocolate or chocolate candy coating in a medium bowl in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper, and have the cacao nibs (or sprinkles, or mini chocolate chips) ready nearby.

8. Use a fork or dipping tools to dip a caramel in the melted chocolate. Let the excess drip back into the bowl, then scrape the bottom against the lip of the bowl. Set the caramel on the prepared baking sheet, and while the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the top with a pinch of cacao nibs. Repeat until all of the caramels are dipped and decorated. Refrigerate the tray to set the chocolate, for about 15 minutes.

9. These caramels can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For the best taste and texture, serve them at room temperature so the caramel is soft and chewy.

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