Thursday, 8 August 2013

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolates


I've had this blog for ages, planning to post loads of different recipes, but I've never got round to it due to a) a lack of a good camera, b) always forgetting to take pictures of the food I make and instead, gobbling it... and c) being busy busy busy.
However, I thought I'd post a little something as a bit of a test...

Today, I made some salted caramel chocolates for my mormor and morfar, as my mother and sister are travelling to Denmark to visit! There are these salted caramel chocolates from Hotel Chocolat that we all absolutely adore in this family, so I thought I'd recreate them.

I apologise for these photos, they were taken by my phone... I promise in future, I'll use a better camera. But I thought I'd get a move on with posting, so I thought I'd just use these. ;)

 *Shudder* I'M SORRY OKAY. I'm hoping it looks better when I post it,
but for now... Yeah.

These chocolates are divine! Quite upset that I'm giving them to my grandparents though... ;) I got to snag a few broken ones though, score!
They're dark chocolates with a salted caramel center

But anyway. Here's how I made them.
I've made them a few times, and each time I just kinda improvise, so these measurements are approximate.

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolates
200g dark chocolate
25g white chocolate (this is just for decoration)

37g unsalted butter (I used salted because that's all we usually have)
25g light brown sugar
25g caster sugar
25g golden syrup
62ml double cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel (now... I didn't use this because I am not sure where to buy this... I took some coarse salt and ground it... I put less in as well, and just tasted it - the recipe specifically says not table salt, but oh well ;))

You may notice the weird measurements... I used Nigella Lawson's salted caramel sauce recipe
I did a whole portion and ended up with looooads left over. So I halfed for you, but really, you'd still have a bit left over...

1) Start with the salted caramel: Melt together butter, sugars and syrup, and simmer for three minutes, swirling every so often.
2) Add the cream and the salt - stir in with a wooden spoon and taste (careful, it'll be super hot!!!) If it tastes good, leave it for another minute on the hob, then transfer into a bowl, or add more salt if you like. This needs to cool before you put them into a chocolate. 
3) Melt the chocolate into a bowl - I usually use the microwave, melting the chocolate in two or three 30 second blasts then stirring until it has all melted. Alternatively, you can melt it in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
4) Get your mold. I used a silicone mold from Lakeland, unfortunately they don't sell them anymore. It was a mold with 16 hearts, about 2.5 centimeters wide. This made exactly 16 hearts. Fill the molds half way with chocolate, then swirl around making sure they are completely covered. If there is too much choc in the molds, take a little out as there needs to be room for some caramel! If there is chocolate around the molds, scrape it off with a knife and put back in the bowl of melted choc, as you can save it for later...
5) Put the chocolates in the fridge until set - about 15-30 minutes?
6) Fill with salted caramel - be careful not to put too much in (as I learned), when you put the chocolate on top, it overflows and the caramel comes to the top. I filled it about halfway - but obviously test with one as your molds may be different!
7) The melted chocolate will probably be hard again, so just quickly re-melt it in the microwave or in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover the caramel with the chocolate, being careful not to allow the caramel to go to the top of the chocolate. You can go over the chocolates with a knife to ensure the chocs are flat - but be careful... If the chocolate mixes with the salted caramel it becomes a strange, grainy-looking (but not actually grainy), thick texture! This happens if the caramel flows to the top and you flatten the chocolate over it... It happened to me so I just left it, but it was fine.
8) When this has been done, melt the white chocolate and decorate. Unfortunately, my white chocolate was really thick so I made a marbled pattern rather than making lines (was too lazy to put it in a piping bag)... It still came out well though! I was very worried... At this stage it might look like a mess (mine certainly did) but do not worry, when they have set in the fridge and you have taken them out, they'll look fine!
9) You can clean up around the molds by scraping them with a knife, or just put them in the fridge and doing that after! But yes, put them in the fridge before or after doing this, to allow to set! These might take a little longer so about 45 minutes... I didn't really time it, just carried on with my day and checked them now and again.
10) When they have set, take them out of the molds! You can shape them a little with a knife, if there are bits hanging off and stuff... Et voila, complete!
Out of 16 chocolates, only two broke (the top from the base) but that was because with some of them, the caramel went to the top and the chocolate didn't really join to the base chocolate...  You must make sure that the base layer is not too thin! The last time I made these chocolates pretty much all of them broke because the layer was really thin, very silly of me...

Mmm... The one without a top in the middle is one of the ones where the tops didn't connect with the base properly (heh)...

But yes, hoorah chocolates! Sorry if that recipe was too wordy or not clear enough etc. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the process - but maybe some other day I'll do another chocolates recipe and do this :)
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed my very scrambled first blog post...