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Monday, December 19, 2011

Dark Chocolate Caramel Sauce

Good morning! Perhaps the holidays is the worst possible time to try to eat healthier. If Santa's list were to be the naughty and nice of eating well, I'd definitely be on the naughty list. However, I have made some changes that I am pretty proud of myself for. I have started eating something for breakfast, which I did not do before. I have increased my milk intake. Ok, so it's chocolate milk - not great I know, but I don't like plain milk and even vanilla doesn't do it for me. Plain milk mixed with this sauce? Now we're talking. 

Dark Chocolate Caramel Sauce
adapted slightly from The 1997 Joy of Cooking

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized slices
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt or more to taste

Place sugar in a small heavy saucepan and pour water over the top. Place the pan over medium high heat and gently swirl the pan by the handle until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. Do not let the syrup boil until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar is all dissolved turn the heat to high and cover the saucepan for 2 minutes, the syrup will boil. 

After 2 minutes uncover the saucepan and continue to boil, swirling the pan occasionally, until it begins to get dark around the edges. Once it starts to darken swirl the pan continuously until the syrup is deep amber and starts to smoke. Immediately remove the pan form the heat and add the butter.

Gently mix the butter in with a heatproof spatula or whisk. Once the butter is fully incorporated stir in the heavy cream. If the sauce becomes lumpy, heat over very low heat while stirring until it is smooth and promptly turning off the heat when it is smooth again. 

Add the finely chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted and incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Serve warm on ice cream, cake, fruit, poached fruit, crepes, waffles, a spoon or old boot leather. If refrigerated, it can be re-warmed in a microwave oven or with the storage jar set in a pan of simmering water.

Source: Hippo Flambe

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