Thursday, December 20, 2012

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates!

After strolling the streets looking for those last minute holiday gifts this weekend I popped into Williams Sonoma for of course the free drink samples and what did I discover? But the tastiest treat my lips ever did meet: The Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate! Yes, I know the Salted Caramel trend has been beat to death but mix it with chocolate? You can't help but jump on the bandwagon! The container is around $20 and yields 8 servings but what did I do? Marched over to Starbucks and ordered two of these bad boys for around $7.50 expensive? Yes. Delicious? definitely. But after a few searches on Pinterest I found this recipe on the blog "Pennies on a Platter" which I actually had all the ingredients for in my cabinet so bam! Free Salted Caramel Hot Chocolates for all! Enjoy!
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons fleur de sel or good sea salt (My preference is 1-tbsp)
  • 1 cup dry milk powder
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Heat the 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar in a large heavy pan, over medium heat, without stirring. When the sugar begins to melt, take the handle of the pan and swirl it to melt without burning. The sugar might seem to crystallize, but it will eventually melt to a deep amber color. (Can take 15-20 minutes, so be patient.)
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla. Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour it onto the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching it. Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour.
When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor. Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube). Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix.
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder. Replace the lid and process until smooth. Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.
Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place for up to one month. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot milk.

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