Why am I posting Valentine’s recipes in June? Well, because everyone should occasionally make little caramel centered chocolate hearts just because! And, well, because they sound so GOOD right now. The caramel center is from Smitten Kitchen, and is the best caramel I’ve ever made. Add some milk chocolate, form into a cute shape… what more can you ask of a portable dessert? Speaking of portable… how about sneaking some of these into the movie theater while on a date? *I* would be impressed by that, without a doubt. Just sayin’.
Start by melting milk chocolate in a bowl. You can use a double boiler, microwave, whatever method you want. Instructions for various methods are here.
Pour a small amount into a silicone mold, spread around, and let cool.
Melt sugar in a dry saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir when necessary to break up chunks, and when it is all melted, after about 5 minutes, it should be a copper color. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Stir in cream and salt and return to medium-high heat, returning to a simmer and melting again any sugar that solidified. Cook it a few minutes more until it darkens a shade.
Pour caramel into chocolate hearts, leaving a little room at the top for the final layer of chocolate.
Pour in more melted chocolate to seal the caramel in, and let cool.
Trim off edges of chocolate, if desired, and eat one or two, just for quality testing purposes.
Chocolate Caramel Hearts
- 18 oz . milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or salted, in which case reduce the sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/8 teaspoon table salt
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Melt 12 oz. of the chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler. Pour into silicone heart molds (or other shape, silicon ice cube trays could work here), making sure to tilt the molds to get chocolate coating the sides. Let cool.
While the chocolate cools, melt sugar in a dry saucepan over medium-high heat until completely melted and a copper color, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in butter, doing your best to incorporate all of the butter. Stir in cream and salt and return saucepan to medium-high heat, bringing it back to a simmer and melting any crystallized sugar.
Cook the simmering caramel for a few minutes more until a shade darker.
Let caramel cool until warm rather than hot, and pour into chocolate molds.
Melt remaining 6 oz. chocolate and pour over caramel to seal. Let cool and remove from molds, trimming excess chocolate if desired.