Chocolate Bon Bon Recipe that Happens to be a Caramel!

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Have your Salt and Eat it Too


Today, March 19th, is National Chocolate Caramel Day.  Caramels—buttery, chewy confections whose mere name can bring a grown person to his or her knees.  While many of us grew up eating Kraft caramels—unwrapping each little bite-sized candy and popping them into our mouths, or into a pan of brownies, upscale caramels seem to be on most confectioner’s radar in some form or another.  At any given time you can find classic caramels with or without nuts and a host of exotic caramels using bee pollen, coffees and teas, spices from around the world, even bacon.
But the simple addition of chocolate to the cream, sugar and corn syrup base makes for a special treat.  And a bonus…your kitchen will smell like brownies during the cooking phase.  So in honor of National Chocolate Caramel Day, we give you a chocolate caramel sprinkled with sea salt.

Salted Chocolate Caramels

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream

10 ½ ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (no more than 60% cacao if marked), finely chopped

1 ¾ cups sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

¼ cup water

¼ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces

2 teaspoons flaky sea salt such as Maldon

Vegetable oil for greasing

 Special equipment: parchment paper; a candy thermometer

Directions

Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch straight-sided square metal baking pan with 2 long sheets of crisscrossed parchment.

Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, then reduce heat to low and add chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat.

Bring sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Boil, uncovered, without stirring but gently swirling pan occasionally, until sugar is deep golden, about 10 minutes. Tilt pan and carefully pour in chocolate mixture (mixture will bubble and steam vigorously). Continue to boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 255°F on thermometer, about 15 minutes. Add butter, stirring until completely melted, then immediately pour into lined baking pan (do not scrape any caramel clinging to bottom or side of saucepan). Let caramel stand 10 minutes, then sprinkle evenly with sea salt. Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours.

Carefully invert caramel onto a clean, dry cutting board, then peel off parchment. Turn caramel salt side up. Lightly oil blade of a large heavy knife and cut into 1-inch squares.  If desired, additional sea salt can be pressed onto the caramels after cutting.

Caramels can be wrapped in 4-inch squares of wax paper; twist ends to close.

Store caramels layered between sheets of parchment or wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature.  Keeps for 2 weeks.

Makes about 64 caramels.

Photo courtesy of gourmet.com

 

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