I'm a real dark chocolate girl, so, since no one is making these commercially, I knew I had to make them for myself. Hope you'll try and like them!
* It takes me 45 minutes to make a batch, after my ingredients have been gathered. This does not include the optional chocolate chopping /melting /coating, which only takes a few minutes.
As a cardamom lover, I recently have riffed on this recipe, making Cardamom Pistachio Caramels w/ 1 T. espresso powder and 2 1/2 T.freshly ground cardamom seeds, with pistachios instead of pecans. —LeBec Fin
- Makes ~ 64 cubes
14 tablespoons heavy cream,divided into 8 Tablespoons and 6 Tablespoons
1/4 cup. Medaglia d’Oro Espresso Powder
½ c. honey
½ c. white sugar
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
½ stick unsalted butter
½ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp. vanilla in 1 T. water
1-1 ½ raw pecan halves or toasted skinned broken hazelnuts (or less)
4 ou. dark chocolate ( I prefer 72% Dark Caillebaut)-chopped to size of chocolate chips or so (chocolate coating is optional)
- This fits in an 8” x 8” pan , Silpat or an aluminum pan sprayed with non-stick coating. Heat ½ cup heavy cream. Whisk in the espresso powder til all is dissolved. Add remaining 6 T. cream through 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium high heat and bring to a boil until sugars and butter are melted. Continue to boil briskly (but not to overflow the pan. It is helpful to use a deep heavy saucepan.) Every few minutes, gently stir/scrape the bottom of the pot so the mixture doesn’t burn.(A wooden spoon/ paddle with a flat bottom edge is best for this.). Keep nearby a small pot of warm water with a pastry brush. A few times during the ½ hr. or so of cooking, wipe down the insides of the pan with the wet pastry brush(this eliminates sugar crystals). Keep the brush sitting in the water. Check temp every 5-10 minutes. To glaze for Turtles :Put the chocolate in a microwave- proof dish, cover loosely with a lid and put in microwave on medium to med high Power for 2+ minutes. Stir and repeat til melted. Pop out the caramel from the silpat pan, smooth side down. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate over; chill ; etc.
- While sugar syrup is cooking, spread nuts in single layer in bottom of 8" pan.Keep stirring mixture gently ; cook another 20+ minutes til a thermometer shows 265 degrees. * Temp will rise more quickly as it approaches its goal. Immediately remove from the heat and quickly stir in the vanilla mixture (keep back your head in case the mixture spatters.) Pour the caramel quickly into the 8 " pan, scraping out the pot. (Most recipes tell you not to do this, in case there is any crystallized sugar on the sides of the pan, but I have had no such trouble.)
- .Sprinkle lightly with sea salt to taste. If glazing with chocolate, skip this salt Let cool til warm and slightly stiffened, 30 minutes. For a minimum of 3 hours, chill the pan in the refrig.on a flat cookie sheet for stability. Remove from the frig , pop caramels out of the pan, smooth side down. Let return to room temp so caramel won’t crack when cut.
- To coat the Turtles: :Put the chocolate in a microwave- proof dish, cover loosely with a lid and put in microwave on medium to med high Power for 2+ minutes. Stir and repeat til melted. Pop out the caramel from the silpat pan, smooth side down. Spread a thin layer of melted chocolate over. Sprinkle with sea salt and chill a minimum of 3 hours.,
- Remove from refrigerator and let sit 1/2 hour so that cutting will be easier. Cube and wrap as desired. Store in frig or freezer in airtight container. *- This recipe is designed for dense chewy caramels, not soft caramels, so this temp may be higher than what you'd expect. Wowee gee, Mr. Bill