Dress up your caramel apples this Halloween by dipping them in melted chocolate and decorating them with modeling chocolate or fondant to look like a cauldron.
You can use store bought caramel apples to make quick work of this recipe, but if you choose to make your own caramel apples, be sure to push the stick in at an angle so that it looks like a big spoon stirring the cauldron. These caramel apple cauldrons can be dipped in tempered pure chocolate or melted confectionery coating/candy melts, whichever you prefer. The candy melts are easier to work with, but don't have the rich luscious flavor of pure semi-sweet chocolate which can be difficult to temper properly. If you don't have a lot of experience working with chocolate, you might want to click here to read some very helpful chocolate making tips. Modeling chocolate/chocolate clay is used to decorate the chocolate dipped caramel apple and is simple to make, but store bought fondant can easily be substituted. Click here for the recipe and a tutorial on making modeling chocolate.
Step 1: Ingredients:
Chocolate Caramel Apple Cauldron (makes 6-10)
6 large or up to 12 small caramel apples
16 ounces melted and tempered semi sweet chocolate
or melted dark cocoa candy melts/confectionery coating
8 ounces white modeling chocolate (or fondant)
8 ounces dark modeling chocolate (or fondant)
food coloring/icing coloring ( neon green, yellow, red, orange)
Special Equipment Needed:
baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat non-stick liner
optional: round cookie cutters, round pastry tip, tear drop and leaf shaped mini cookie cutters
Step 2: Dipping Caramel Apples in Chocolate
Before you begin, if your caramel apples have a footer (a round bottom where the caramel has puddled) use a knife or kitchen shears to cut it off. Use your hands to round the bottom of the apple. This will ensure a nice round cauldron.
Dip your caramel apples into the melted and tempered chocolate (or melted candy melts/confectionery coating.) Be sure to fully cover your apple. Pull the apple up out of the chocolate allowing the excess to drip off. A great way to help remove the excess chocolate is to dip the bottom of the apple back into the chocolate, pull it away quickly, and repeat a few times. This motion draws the excess chocolate away from the apple. Set the apple on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
You don't want a footer of chocolate on your apples. If after you set your apple on the parchment paper it forms a big footer, pick it up before it dries, and move it to another spot on the parchment paper.
If using tempered chocolate, refrigerate until set. If using candy melts, freeze until set.
If your cauldrons look really shiny when dry, use a pastry brush or paper towel to rough them up a bit. You want them to look like an old cauldron, not a shiny chocolate apple.
Step 3: Add the Brim and Bubbling Brew to the Cauldron.
For the brim, knead some dark modeling chocolate then roll it into a long log about 1/2" thick. Wrap the log around the very top of the cauldron. Cut off excess and pinch two ends together.
For the bubbling brew, color some white modeling chocolate neon green. Pinch off very small bits of it and roll into balls. Brush the top of the apple inside the cauldron brim very lightly with water. Gently press the small green balls of modeling chocolate inside the top of the cauldron. The water will act as glue. Roll out or flatten a ball of neon green modeling chocolate and cut into a circle to fit inside the brim (every circle will be a slightly different size. I used a 2" round cookie cutter.) Use a knife or a #10 round pastry tip to cut a hole in the circle of modeling chocolate. Pick up the modeling chocolate circle, place the hole over the end the caramel apple stick, and work the modeling chocolate down onto the apple. Press the green modeling chocolate over the green balls tucking it in around the edge of the brim, creating the look of bubbling brew.
Step 4: Add Flames and Handles.
For the flames, color some white modeling chocolate red, orange, and yellow then pinch off pieces and press them together, flatten, then roll it out to 1/16" thickness. Use a mini tear drop and a leaf cutter or a knife to cut out your flames. Brush a very small amount of water on the backside of each flame and press them onto the side of the cauldron at the base.
For the handle, pinch off a small amount of dark modeling chocolate, roll into a very thin log, cut, and create a circle. Also cut a piece that's about 1/8" long. Pinch together the ends of the circle and press the small piece on top of the seam. Use a dab of water to glue the handles to the sides of the cauldron.
Step 5: Finish the Cauldron by Adding Drips of Bubbling Brew.
Keep stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to two days.