Introduction: Dark Chocolate Espresso Caramels With Sea Salt
What can be better than chocolate? It's Chocolate Caramel! This is a deep dark chocolate caramel kicked up a notch with Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur, Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate chips, freshly ground espresso powder (thank you favorite coffee hangout), all finished with a pinch of Fleur de Sel (flower of salt) Ooh la la!
This is my favorite "go to" caramel recipe. Have fun with some of your favorite tasting profiles...Grand Marnier or maybe Chambord.
- TIP: For frustration free caramel making, it's best to have the right supplies and ingredients ready. Plan on dedicating 30 minutes from prep to pouring for the best caramel experience.
Step 1: Supplies
- 6 qt Heavy Bottom Pan or Dutch Oven
- 2 qt sauce pan
- 8 cup Glass Batter Bowl
- liquid measuring cup
- 13x9 Pyrex Casserole
- Candy Thermometer
- Instant Read Thermometer (optional)
- Kitchen Glove
- Long Handle High Heat Spatula
- Parchment Paper
- Long Knife (I use 12" for cutting caramels)
- Large cutting board
- Canola Oil (to prep knife and cutting board)
- 5x5 Candy Wrappers for Caramels
Step 2: Ingredients
- 4 cups Sugar (800g)
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter
- 2 cups White Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 20 oz Evaporated Milk
- 2 Tbl Espresso Powder
- 8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (227g)
- 4 oz Dark Chocolate Liqueur
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Fleur de Sel (French Sea Salt)
Step 3: Prepare Ingredients
In the 6qt Dutch Oven or heavy bottom pan place the Butter, Sugar, Corn Syrup and Kosher Salt together
In the 2qt saucepan place the 20oz Evaporated Milk and 2 Tbl Espresso Powder together
In the 8 cup glass Pyrex batter bowl place the 8oz Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
In a liquid measuring cup pour 4oz (1/2 cup) Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur and 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Prepare the 13x9 Casserole Dish by placing a large sheet of parchment paper inside.
Step 4: Turn on the Heat
6 qt pan - Start on medium low heat to melt the sugar, butter, corn syrup, and kosher salt mixture
2 qt saucepan - Start on medium to medium low heat to reach "scalding" while whisking the evaporated milk with the espresso powder. Small bubbles will start to form around the edge of the pan
- Tip: Scalding is not boiling. The easiest way to test is by touch. If you can keep your finger on top of the milk, it's not quite hot enough. When you can barely touch it, you're at scald
Pour the scalding milk/espresso mixture on top of the chocolate chips to start melting. Let sit
Raise the sugar mixture temperature to medium, if needed, to get the mixture boiling. Stir continuously.
Step 5: Prepare Chocolate Mixture
The chocolate chips should be soft and melted by now. Whisk them quickly until smooth.
Pour the dark chocolate liqueur and vanilla extract mixture into the smooth chocolate chips.
Step 6: Set Timer for 15-20 Minutes and SLOWLY Add Chocolate Mixture
This step is crucial to creamy, smooth and luscious caramels!
Set a timer for 15-20 minutes and slowly add a portion of the warm chocolate/milk mixture. Stir constantly.
Watch your heat and adjust it accordingly between medium and medium low. Avoid bringing the caramel to it's ultimate temperature of 238F too fast.
- TIP: Each time you pour a small amount of chocolate liquid mixture, the caramel will rise up in the pan and boil rapidly. Wear an oven glove and use a long handle high heat spatula.
Step 7: Bring Mixture to 238F
Once all the chocolate mixture is added, use a candy thermometer and an instant read thermometer to bring caramel to 238-239F
- NOTE: At a higher elevation the ultimate temperature is 238; Lower elevation the ultimate temperature is 239. If you're making caramels on a hot and humid day the temperature might be a strong 239 but not above 240F
Remove from heat and immediately pour into a prepared 13x9 Pyrex Casserole. Place a towel underneath pan or on a cooling rack to protect your counter
- TIP: DO NOT scrape the bottom of the pan. The caramel will be at a higher temperature on the bottom of the pan which will leave hard spots in your finished caramel. Instead scrape this portion into a small bowl for taste testing (cook's portion)!!
Step 8: Cool and Cut
Allow caramel to cool and set for 12-24 hours before cutting.
Prep a cutting board and knife with canola oil.
Cut into 1/2 inch squares.
Step 9: Salt, Wrap and Twist
Place each caramel on a cellophane or wax candy wrapper (5x5 inch is best).
- TIP: I place my candy wrappers on a plastic placemat just to see it easier - no other reason :)
Finish each caramel with a pinch of Fleur de Sel or sea salt
Wrap and twist each caramel.
Twisting each end in opposite directions will help keep them closed.
Step 10: Enjoy!
It is so fun to see these ingredients turn into these creamy Dark Chocolate Espresso Caramels with sea salt.
Second Prize in the