Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

First, caramel:

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream, heated to luke warm in microwave (30 seconds)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream, heated to luke warm in microwave (30 seconds)
*optional 2 Tablespoons Rum
*optional 1/4 corn syrup – for those of you who are concerned your caramel sauce will turn to candy)
In a medium sauce pan, add sugar and water (and optional corn syrup).  Cook the ingredients on medium-high heat.  Carefully watch the sugar syrup change colors around the outer edge to an amber-brownish color, or if using a candy thermometer – 350 degrees. Remove from heat immediately and using a wooden spoon or whisk, quickly stir everything to keep the sugar water from burning.  Your simple syrup should be a golden ale brown.  As you continue to stir, pour in 1/2 cup of warm heavy cream and pats of butter.  When the cream makes contact with the sugar water it will start bubbling violently.  Continue to stir until the sugar crystallization dissolves.  Finally, add 1/4 cup of additional warm heavy cream (and rum) until caramel sauce is nice and smooth.  Transfer to a heat proof jar and allow the sauce to cool on the counter slightly covered with plastic wrap for an hour.  Use immediately or seal the jar and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Note: *As caramel sauce cools, it will thicken.  Before serving, re-heat in the microwave for 30 seconds for 1 cup.

Next, chocolate ganache:

  • 12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • optional 3 tablespoons flavored liqueor
Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy.
Last and best, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate:

Now, the hot chocolate!!!

3 tablespoons Caramel syrup, heated to luke warm  (recipe here)
Hot Chocolate (4 tablespoons of ganache plus 6 oz. of milk, heated)
Canned Whipped Cream
Pinch of Medium Coarse Sea Salt
Pour 2 Tablespoons of caramel syrup into a mug so the inside of the mug is coated well.  Add hot chocolate and stir everything.  Top off with with cream, drizzle with remaining caramel, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Enjoy!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is my new little pick-me-up when I'm out and about. Starbucks only carries it seasonally and it is TO DIE FOR! So, of course, I had to find a way to make something equitable at home...

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