I've wanted to have a go at making my own chocolates for a while (especially after the Godiva Challenge!) and salted caramel is one of my favourite flavours. So using some of the callets I got from Godiva, and a mould I got free with Something Sweet magazine, I attempted my first ever homemade salted caramels...
I took the five that actually came out of the mould without being squished along to a girlie night at a friend's house and they were received with moans of delight, and much disappointment at only having one each!
Making them was of course trial and error, but I eventually got the hang of actually using the moulds without breaking the chocolates when taking them out, and of course the tempering is an acquired skill, but for a first attempt, I was more than pleased with the results.
Makes: 15 (depending on your mould)
Prep time: 3 hours minimum (including setting time)
200 g dark chocolate pearls/callets (I used Godiva 70% cocoa)
150 g Demerara sugar
3 tbsp cold water
75 g unsalted butter
1/4 tsp rock or sea salt
4 tbsp double cream
Bain-Marie (or microwave)
Silicone chocolate cup mould
Temper your chocolate, either by heating in a microwave for 1 minute, stirring, then giving it another 30 seconds - don't allow it to melt completely, and then stir the remaining unmelted pieces until it is all smooth. Or use a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water to melt 75% of the chocolate, and then remove from the heat and stir in the remaining. Ideally the temperature should be about 32 degrees to work with - if you have a sugar thermometer you can check this. Otherwise, like me, just wing it!
Use a small spoon to transfer enough chocolate to the mould to cover the bottom of each well. Then using your flat paintbrush, paint the chocolate up the sides. I found that a nice thick base and reasonably thin sides worked well. A thin bottom not so good. Allow the chocolate in the mould to set in the fridge, this could take up to an hour, depending on the thickness.
To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear. Bring to the boil, and allow it to boil for a few minutes, without stirring, until it turns a golden caramel colour. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little. Carefully stir in the butter and some of the salt until the butter has melted.
Next, whisk in the double cream gradually until you get a glossy smooth caramel.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the rest of the salt, then leave to cool completely.
Once the chocolate has set, and the caramel has cooled, spoon the caramel into the chocolate cups, but not to the top, leave a few millimetres at the top (this will prevent a LOT of spillage!!). Let it settle and then use some more melted tempered chocolate to seal the top - use a piping bag if you would like a really clean cut top, or you can use a spoon for a nice rustic look. Either way, try to 'seal' the top around the edges so you don't get leakage of caramel which you will then have to lick off your fingers...
Allow to set again in the fridge, and when it is solid, gently push them out of the mould. Decorate with some more rock salt if you wish.
And eat... preferably with some Prosecco...