I recently found out about another online food bloggers challenge called We Should Cocoa, hosted by Chocolate Log Blog and Chocolate Teapot. Making a chocolate treat once a month has my name written all over it! This month Choclette has issued the challenge to use honey with our chocolate.
I immediately knew which recipe I wanted to make, Salted Chocolate and Honey Caramels from the blog BakeNoir, which has been on my list for some time. I have had a troubled history with chocolate caramels. I have successfully made Honey Caramels and Apple Cider Caramels, but the chocolate ones have eluded me. The main problem has been that the chocolate has started to burn before my thermometer reached the firm ball stage and the caramels either end up ruined or too soft. I always figured it was a matter of finding a recipe that worked for me (and my electric stove-top). I have finally found a chocolate caramel recipe that works! It also looks pretty and I like the salty hit on top of the very sweet caramel. While I was slightly disappointed that I couldn’t really taste the honey in this candy, they were still good and I was also pleased that it doesn’t contain corn syrup. This recipe will probably make it onto my Christmas baking list for next year.
Just a note on “fixing” the texture of your caramels if they turn out too hard or too soft. If your caramels come out too soft, you can re-melt them in a saucepan and cook them again to just a couple degrees higher than you did the first time (and I mean 1 or 2 degrees literally) to firm them up. If they come out too hard, you can re-melt them in a saucepan with a splash of cream, 1/4 cup or a little less, and bring them back up to firm ball temperature and that should soften them. That’s it! Patience, a good candy thermometer and a good recipe and caramels are pretty easy!
- 200ml/6.75 oz heavy whipping cream
- 250g/8.8oz sugar
- 100g/3.5oz honey
- 10g/.35oz butter
- 200g/7.05 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tsp. fleur de sel (or coarse sea salt)
- Combine the sugar and cream in a 3 qt saucepan and put it on medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, cook for 5 minutes.
- Add chocolate, butter and honey and continue to cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches 120C/248F (firm-ball) on a candy thermometer. This will take about 10-15 minutes, depending on your stove.
- Transfer the chocolate mixture to an 8"x8" pan lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle with salt and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or allow to sit at a cool room temperature overnight until firm.
- Cut the caramels into small pieces. If your knife sticks to the caramels, brush it lightly with a neutral oil such as canola oil. This will prevent sticking.
- Wrap each piece in wax paper.