Quarantine Salted Caramel Chocolates
If you're currently a living breathing human being, you're aware of the COVID-19 pandemic that's swept the globe and forced most of us to self-quarantine or "shelter in place" if your local government has required it. Colin and I are having some symptoms but haven't been able to get tested yet because of the demographic we're in (in our 20s with no pre-existing health conditions). We completely understand the national crisis of a shortage of test kits, so we are happily staying at home until our symptoms go away. We've been able to manage by hydrating, resting, and working on projects.
But what we've really been craving is salted caramel chocolates. Trader Joe's had amazing ones, as well as the Endangered Species brand chocolates I'm only able to find at Whole Foods. We're currently out of both, and because it's completely non-essential we're not going to risk the health of our community for chocolate.
However, on our last Costco trip, we did buy a bag of chocolate chips. If you're familiar with Costco chocolate chips, the bag is huge. We also keep caramel sauce on hand to make salted caramel mochas in the Fall (Starbucks gets expensive!!). We've also got some silicone ice trays. And as much as I hate the revolutionary ice cube tray "hacks" that pop up on my Facebook feed, I decided to use my non-traditional shaped silicone trays to make some chocolates. I chose silicone over a traditional plastic ice cube tray because I believe it'll be easier to pop them out when they're done.
So, without further ado, here's my made-up recipe for salted caramel chocolates!
What you'll need:
A large pot, a 2 cup glass measuring cup, 4 cups of chocolate chips, caramel sauce (at least 3 oz) a spatula, and salt!
Why the baking pan?
Well, I tried to freeze the caramel, but that didn't work. See step 6 for what did work!
You'll also need silicone ice cube trays. I chose three shapes for 3x the fun!
1. Salt the trays. I chose to use my salt grinder on a coarse setting and my pink Himalayan sea salt (very millennial of me)
By putting salt on the bottom of the tray, it'll be on the top of your chocolate!
2. Measure out 2 cups of chocolate chips in your glass measuring cup and add 2 tablespoons of oil. I chose canola oil, but it's up to you. Mix the oil into the chips.
Fill the pot with water that goes about 2/3 of the way up the measuring cup and bring it to a boil.
3. Melt the chocolate! Make sure you stir regularly with a spatula (I love the one Maddie gave me for my birthday that has avocados on it).
4. Fill the trays with the melted chocolate, ensuring you're filling them about halfway. For the sphere molds, that meant filling up the entire lower half of the tray. But for the square and long oval molds, halfway up works well!
5. Refrigerate for roughly an hour. You want the chocolate to be completely or near-completely hardened.
6. Top the hardened chocolate with caramel. Dust the top of the caramel with salt for an added punch of flavor.
7. Repeat steps 2-4 by melting the chocolate and pouring it into the molds. As an aside, do you see how cute this avocado spatula is?
And refrigerate for an hour!
8. The fruits (sweets?) of your labor are ready! Dust with salt and you're ready to serve.
Slide to the left to see more ooey-gooey pictures of these caramels.
These things are rich. They've got a very smooth and creamy texture from the melted chocolate chips and oil. The only downside was that the caramel I had on hand does not harden. This made for a treat that was dripping from the sides. Not great if you're looking to avoid messy hands.
I might suggest using a caramel sauce meant for ice cream because the consistency of that would change after refrigerating. If you use that type of sauce, I would recommend the freezer method of placing drops of caramel on a sheet of wax paper in a baking pan (loaf pans or 9x9s work well for my freezer space). After you've poured the first layer of chocolate and that's hardened, put the frozen caramel in the center of that piece and cover it with the next layer of chocolate.
To store- keep in the fridge in the molds in order to keep the layers together.
If you'd like a printable abridged version of this recipe, here you go!
Catherine Langmack lives in Seattle, WA with her fiancé. She enjoys writing, crafting, and home improvement projects.