Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Cups, +3 for alliteration

Yours truly recently acquired some very exciting and rare footage of the elusive Chocolate Caramel Cups in the wild. As you will see from the somewhat grotesque imagery shown here (reported exclusively on this blog!), the Chocolate Caramel Cups have a fearful habit of wreaking havoc on their fellows. Evidence suggests that an Alpha Chocolate Caramel Cup will strip an entire rival tribe of their outer coatings before eviscerating them (as seen below!). Your faithful reporter has little stomach for this, and shall not go into further detail. The photographs must speak for themselves in this case.

The first photograph, daringly captured by our field scout, is a close up of one of these Chocolate Caramel Cups. You may observe the formation of the cranial ridge and overall dimensions of the beast. The second image shows the vestige remnants of rival Caramel Cups, and the third was captured after the war party had left; a lone victim of the atrocities.

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All silliness aside, the camera on my phone is of seriously low quality, but it's all I got. The recipe for these monsters is as follows.

Chocolate Caramel Cups

You will need one or two mini-muffin tins and tin-liners. The quantity of chocolate is easily variable and amendable, but the caramel can only be fractionally divided. I made a full batch (measurements below) and have leftover (woe is me).

1-2 ~10 oz bags of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I used ghirardelli)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup cream
2 cups sugar

1. Start the chocolate melting in a double broiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally.

2. Melt butter and sugar in saucepan over medium heat. Stir once or twice to incorporate.

3. When sugar has dissolved and no crystals remain, add the cream and again stir until just mixed. Over-stirring causes the sugar to crystalize. Continue to cook over medium to low heat, just hot enough that the caramel bubbles a little at the edges but does not get too carried away. Cook until caramel reaches 240 degrees F. (you will need a cooking/chocolate/candy thermometer for this. Make sure it doesn't touch the bottom of the pan when you're measuring.)

4. Meanwhile, the chocolate has melted. Put a small spoon-full in the bottom of each mini-muffin cup (lined) and use a pastry brush to brush it up the sides so that it reaches the top and covers all the paper. Place tin in freezer to solidify.

5. Remove chocolate from freezer and carefully pour, do not spoon, the caramel into each cup. Do this by transferring the caramel from the pot to a pyrex measuring cup with a spout. Add enough caramel to almost reach the rim, perhaps leaving 2-3 mm free for the top layer of chocolate. This top layer must be able to connect with the first layer of chocolate to seal in the caramel. Place the cups back in the freezer again while you melt a little more chocolate.

(if the caramel gets too hard/crystalizes, turn the heat back on and don't stir it.)

6. Remove trays from freezer again. Spoon more chocolate on top of the caramels and smooth it to the sides with the back of the spoon. Fill to the brim. Replace in the freezer.

7. Once everything has solidified a final time, peel the muffin cups off of the chocolate and pack away for later or eat. They should be just fine at room temperature, or in the fridge if it's hot out.

Feel free to try other fillings with the same method. I did peanut butter caramel "cups" previously, but was lacking the muffin tins, so they were really... sandwiches.

2 comments:

  1. I have a sweet tooth for chocolate, but I'm always up for a new, interesting piece of candy. Any suggestions for something interesting to try?

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  2. If you like liquorice, you might want to try its mature, salty, Swedish relative, salmiak. It's made with ammonium chloride, which gives it a slightly spicey and salty taste.
    If you don't like liquorice, maybe you would like chicken/turkey bone candies. They're actually just sugar, but crunchy like bones might be. The Vermont country store sells a version here: http://bit.ly/cLYvyo

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