Guys, it’s almost the end of the year and I’m sure resolutions are being drafted up. But before we commit to those good habits, let’s have one more splurge and indulge in something decadent. We deserve it, don’t we?
Leili and I love the marriage of salty and sweet – Leili is kind of a mega-girl fan of that coupling and that’s an understatement. So naturally, this hot chocolate with salted caramel fits the bill. And since it’s so close to the New Year, why not add some Bailey’s to it and be merry?
This recipe is very similar to the hot chocolate we used to make at the cafe we worked at. It is made with ganache and steamed milk – I won’t go too in depth with ganache since Leili already covered that in the chocolate truffles recipe. I use two different types of chocolate since it was all I had but it comes out to about 67% cocoa. Use the chocolate you like, but keep in mind that the caramel is rather sweet and if you’re adding Bailey’s, well, then good for you.
I’d also like to confess that I cheated on the caramel and used brown sugar because that’s all I had but if you want to make a more traditional caramel using white sugar, please do. However, if you’re up for something new, try this method and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Sea Salt Caramel Hot Chocolate
½ cup milk chocolate (39%)
½ cup dark chocolate (99%)
½ cup heavy cream
10 oz milk of your choice
One shot Bailey’s (optional)
Easy Sea Salt Caramel
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon sea salt
Chop up chocolate into small pieces – the ones I use are mini chocolate wafers so use those if you want to skip this step. Set the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small or medium saucepan, heat up the heavy cream until it bubbles around the sides and pour the cream into the chocolate bowl. After 30 seconds, gently stir until homogenous.
Let this chill in the fridge for later. This entire recipe is for one person, but the ganache is actually enough for two people if you’d like to adjust the measurements for the hot chocolate portion.
In another saucepan, add the brown sugar and set on medium-low heat. Now, this is the part where I cheated because I did not fully let the sugar caramelize. I let the sugar warm up a bit and stirred occasionally. Once the bottom started to brown and melt a bit, about 5 minutes, add the butter. Whisk until combined. Add the heavy cream and repeat the previous step. Finish with sea salt and pour into a container and let cool.
In a small saucepan, put in two level scoops of ganache and milk. Keep it on medium heat and let it slowly warm up. Whisk occasionally so the heat distributes evenly. While you’re waiting for the goodness to warm up, drizzle some caramel into the holiday mug of your choice. This is also the part when you would add the Irish cream.
Once the hot chocolate has a uniform texture and has started sizzling, take it off the heat and immediately pour into the caramelized mug. Top it off with some whipped cream and drizzle some extra gooey caramel on top. Top off with a pinch of sea salt and raise that mug to you and a new year.
See you in 2015!