Salted Caramel is indulgence in itself. Add chocolate to it, and you’re really asking for trouble.
Having been a traditional treat in French Brittany for years, salted caramel is still quite the trend in India. Every restaurant/cafe are either throwing this in their brownies, cupcakes or ice-creams. But I love the addition of chocolate to it as it gives it a much bolder flavour.
The first time I was introduced to this beauty was three years ago at a friend’s party and I instantly fell in love with it. I slowly experimented using chocolate and it turned out even better.
You just can’t go wrong with caramel and chocolate. They are meant for each other!
I was searching for easy salted caramel sauce recipes and I came across one that read “The BEST Salted Caramel Sauce” [people really know how to market themselves I must say 😉 ]
So I was hoping it was the best and gave it a shot.
While cooking your caramel sauce, you have to stay put, continuously stirring, as even a second longer can ruin all your hard work. I like to make it the traditional way and look for that amber colour while others prefer using a thermometer.
I also prefer using unsalted butter to avoid any kind of meddling with the flavours.
Remember to have the butter and cream at room temperature. Never add a cold substance to a hot liquid because it will seize up and you may not be able to recover it.
You have got to add the salt after whisking the cream otherwise it will not incorporate properly.
Talking about which is the best salt to use. I’ll say fleur de sel. It is called the ‘flower of salt’ in English, because it is handpicked and therefore is crème de la crème of the salt world. Fleur de sel is quickly scrapped off from the top layer of salt heaps before it begins to sink at the bottom of the pan. This makes it high on flavour and superior in terms of texture.
If you’re wondering where to find this salt, head to the nearest Nature’s Basket or Foodhall outlet. But please for the love of God, don’t substitute it with your table salt!!
You can store this sauce up to 3 weeks in your fridge. This one was really rich and creamy with the right balance of salt.
Here’s a recipe of the sauce to keep you folks going.
- In a saucepan, melt the sugar over medium-high heat.
- Once all the sugar has melted, swirl the pan occasionally. As soon as the sugar turns amber in color, add the butter and whisk vigorously.
- Whisk until all the butter has melted.
- Remove pan from the heat and slowly pour in the cream while whisking vigorously.
- Whisk until all the cream is incorporated.
- Fold in the chocolate and then whisk in the fleur de sel.
- Set the sauce aside to cool for 15 minutes prior to pouring it into a glass jar to cool complete.
- Refrigerate the sauce for about 2 hours. Set aside.
I’m sharing two recipes using this beautiful sauce. The first one is Salted Caramel Chocolate Drops. I was inspired to create these little biscuits the first time I came across the Jam Drops from an old cookbook I found recently called ” Biscuits and Slices”
I followed the same recipe but only replaced the jam with my salted caramel sauce and it came out just as good or even better. I’m not really a fan of jam. Chocolate is always y first call. It’s a very simple recipe and the biscuits come out crisp and delicious. They can be stored for up to five days in an air-tight container so your kids can bite into them whenever they feel like it.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Using an electric beater, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add milk and vanilla essence. Beat until combined.
- Add sifted flour and custard powder to form a soft dough.
- Roll two teaspoonsful of mixture into balls and place on a prepared tray.
- Make an indentation in each ball using the end of a wooden spoon.
- Fill each hole with quarter teaspoon of the salted caramel chocolate sauce.
- Bake for 15 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
The next recipe is decadent and perfect for your next high tea party. The base has a biscuit texture and the filling is simply rich and delicious. I used tart shells to make the cookie cups but you could also use ramekins depending on the size you’re looking for.
Pretty and petite, this recipe is a real winner!
For the shortcrust pastry:
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
- Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour so that it resembles a breadcrumb sort of texture.
- Add the egg yolk and water. Mix well until it all comes together.
- Knead gently until a ball of dough forms. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
- Sprinkle the work surface lightly with flour and rub the rolling pin with flour.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge and form 6 small balls.
- Roll using even pressure and gentle strokes, giving the pastry a quarter turn after each roll. Occasionally, flip it over to ensure that the pastry is not sticking and dust more flour on the surface as needed.
- Transfer the pastry to small tart shells. Gently ease it against the sides and into the bottom edges.
- Trim the top edges with a knife and pinch over the top of the tart shell to prevent shrinkage down into the tin when you cook it.
- Chill the pastry shell in the freezer for about 10 minutes until it is hard.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
- Cover the pastry with baking paper. Allow it to come over the sides of the tart shell.
- Put in the oven for about 20 minutes until it gets golden brown. Remove and allow it to cool.
- Pour in the salted caramel mixture and put it back in the refrigerator to set for an hour.
- Serve chilled.