I have been reading Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate by William Curley.
In this wonderful book, William shares his techniques and most mouth-watering recipes, starting with the basics: tempering and making a bar of chocolate; advice on how to add exotic flavors like rosemary or raspberry; and introducing different textures.
I spent extra time absorbing this book. Because I believe life is better with chocolate. Period. If you love chocolate, you will absolutely love this book! You can get yours here.
After I read the whole thing... twice. I dove in and decided to make a family favorite. Whenever possible, we buy sea salt caramel candies, truffles, candy bars etc... Turns out, this past year salted caramel was the most popular sweet tooth craving in the U.S. There was a recipe in the book, and it turned out divine! I did a tiny bit of changes to suite what I had in my pantry. Don't be scared! You can do it!
I used an ice cube tray from ikea. I don't have chocolate moulds. It worked perfectly.
Sea Salt Caramel Candies
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 ounces liquid glucose
3 sticks (10 ounces) salted butter
1lb. 2 ounces fine dark chocolate (please note that you don't use hershey's here. Use real chocolate).
Sea salt flakes
Start out by tempering your chocolate. I use the "seeded tempering" method that he explains on page 21.
Place two-thirds of the chopped chocolate into a double broiler. Do not boil the water because it may scald the chocolate. Stir regularly until the chocolate has completely melted and reaches 113-122 degrees.
Gradually add the remaining chocolate - this is the seed. Stir vigorously and continue to stir until all the chocolate is completely melted and the chocolate thickens to 88-90 degrees.
Put the cream in a saucepan. Split your vanilla bean and srape the vanila bean seeds from the pod into the cream. Bring to a boil, and take off heat immediately.
Meanwhile, heat an empty heavy-based saucepan. When it is hot, add one third of the sugar with the liquid glucose and heat slowly until it forms a light caramel and sugar crystals have dissolved. Add the remaining sugar and continue to cook until you get and amber caramel. This will take about 15 minutes, but keep watching it!
Gradually add the warm cream to the caramel. Mix well and take off the heat.
Add the butter, cube by cube. Mix well until it has been fully incorporated and then leave to cool.
Fill the chocolate mould with tempered chocolate. I used an ice cube tray from ikea. I don't have chocolate moulds. It worked perfectly.
Turn the mould upside down over the chocolate pot and scrape off the chocolate.
This gives a chocolate shell. I then put it in the freezer for 2 minutes to set.
Spoon the cooled caramel into the moulds. You can also use a pastry bag to pipe it in, but I found a spoon worked just fine.
Pour more tempered chocolate over the filled moulds.
Sprinle with sea salt flakes. Just a few flakes per truffle.
Now you can leave them out to set for 2-3 hours, or you can be impatient like me and put them in the freezer.
Once set, twist the mould to loosen the chocolates. EAT! SHARE! ENJOY!