Chocolate Caramel Cups
- Prep time 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- makes 15 cups
Unlike other candy recipes, recipes for caramel rarely include a temperature—and there is a range of delicious levels of caramelization. Look for your preferred color range between a pale blond to a dulce de leche hue to a deep amber. A blonder caramel will be lighter in flavor, while a darker one will be more bitter and complex. This recipe will make more caramel sauce than you need, but you won’t regret it; save the rest to spoon over ice cream. And if you have extra melted chocolate after assembling these cups, spread it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and let set until firm, then chop it to use in cookies or other baked goods! —Erin Jeanne McDowell
Test Kitchen Notes
Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and pointing out all the mistakes to avoid along the way. —The Editors
1 pound /(454 grams) melted and tempered dark chocolate
foil candy cups
- Caramel Filling
(20 grams) light corn syrup
(198 grams) granulated sugar
(151 grams) heavy cream
(57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
(3 grams) vanilla bean paste
(3 grams) kosher salt
Flaky salt, for finishing (optional)
- Set out the foil cups onto a flat baking sheet. Spoon a small amount of chocolate into each cup and tilt the cups around to fully coat the base and sides (alternatively, you can place the chocolate in a piping bag, and pipe the chocolate into the cups to fill them). Tilt the cups over the bowl of melted chocolate to help drain out the excess. Let set until the chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.
- In a medium pot, layer the corn syrup, granulated sugar, and water (in that order). Stir the mixture with the probe of your digital thermometer (or the handle of a wooden spoon) to break up any dry pockets or clumps of granulated sugar—but the goal is to only stir enough to evenly combine the ingredients, and no more.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat until it reaches a medium amber/dulce de leche color. (There is no precise temperature to recommend here—a blonder caramel will be lighter in flavor, and darker caramel will be more bitter.) While the mixture cooks, heat the cream in the microwave (or on the stovetop) until it’s hot, but doesn’t come to a boil. Remove from the heat.
- When the caramel reaches the right color, remove the pot from the heat, add the warm cream and the butter; be careful, this may cause the mixture to bubble up strongly. If necessary, heat gently over low heat to melt/combine the mixture until evenly combined, then remove from the heat. (Sometimes the caramel will “seize” and become firm, but heating it gently will bring the mixture back together.)
- Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Cool to room temperature.
- Carefully pour the sauce into the set chocolate cups, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Transfer to the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (and no more than an hour).
- Spoon (or pipe) chocolate into each cup, covering the caramel and filling to the top edge of the cup. Let sit until firm at room temperature until set, about 30 minutes.
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