Friday, October 21, 2005
SHF#13: The Dark Side - Dark Chocolate Caramel
Shhh. Don't tell anyone. I'm gonna let you in on a secret. You know when I bake something with chocolate in it, I usually excuse myself with something like: "I substituted the dark chocolate for milk chocolate, because that's how Martin wants his cakes/cookies/desserts"? It's not entirely true. I mean, it is sort of true - that is how Martin wants it. But, admittedly - it's probably also how I like it best. Just throw your chocolate wrappers at me - I like my chocolate creamy, sweet and vanilla-y, without the hint of bitterness I sometimes find in the dark variety. And I have tried the more expensive ones, the cheap ones, the in between ones. Really, I've tried. It's chocolate after all, how come I can't turn around and like it??
Then again. That's also only partly the truth. You see, I tend to fare better if the dark chocolate has been melted, and then incorporated into the sweet. And, as I'm slowly getting older, there are certain items where there is just no way I'd substitute milk chocolate for the dark one. There are certain dark chocolates I'd happily eat, like the Kehlet chocolates with a mint cream filling my Dad used to buy me when I was a kid - or Skildpadder, one of my vices - a turtle-shaped dark chocolate exterior, filled with a rum and caramel filling. It's good I'm telling you. So I wasn't completely lost when Kelli from Lovescool - For The Love of Desserts announced the 13th. edition of SHF with the theme: The Dark Side.
Oh, and by the way - happy birthday SHF! A whole year of wonderful desserts, sweets, cakes and other goodies - may there be many more! Guess I was a wee bit fast on the congratulations in my last entry - the first ever SHF was held on October 1st., with a theme of White Chocolate - I was SO there, and wouldn't want to miss this edition, making something with dark chocolate. In fact, making something from the exact same author as for my 1st. SHF. This time, it's Dark Chocolate Caramels. I told you, it had to be melted, didn't it? There's just something about larger pieces of solid dark chocolate that doesn't go well with me.
And it's easy as pie to do.
Dark Chocolate Caramels - from Morten Heiberg: Heiberg's Chokolade
200 g. dark chocolate (70% - I used Lindt Ecuador)
100 ml. whipping cream
125 g. sugar
100 g. glucose
(And I added a pinch of salt)
Prepare a baking sheet - either line it with silpat or brush it lightly with a neutral vegetable oil (I used almond oil) I used a brownie pan because I wanted the caramels to come out thick (cube sized almost), but do as you please. If you leave them thin, they're probably easier to cut up later on.
Finely chop the chocolate. In a medium saucepan, combine cream, sugar and glucose. Bring to the boil. As it starts boiling, turn it down, then add the chocolate, stirring to make it melt. Let it simmer while constantly stirring - the mixture has to reach a temperature of 120 degrees celsius - use a sugar thermometer for checking the temperature. When it's hot enough, quickly pour it out onto the prepared baking sheet.
Leave to cool for 12 hours - preferably not in the fridge, as that's too cold and will probably make for a grey appearance of the chocolate.
When you're confident the caramel is all set, cut it up, using a serrated knife or, if you've made it thin enough, with a pair of scissors. Keep somewhere cool in an airtight jar.
I have to admit, I really like these. They are a bit more bitter than what I'd usually like, but the chocolate I used have a hint of coffee to it, so I'm thinking coffee rather than just bitterness. Chewy and wonderfully dark in taste. Probably not fit for kids - and probably not for Martin either. But that just means more for me, heh!
Thanks for making me challenge my palate with a great theme Kelli!