Dessert Party: Salted Caramel Chocolates

Salted Caramel ChocolatesWelcome to the first official Cooking On The Weekends dessert party!

I hope you prepped with me last week and are ready to create the insanely rich, unbelievably delicious, and beautiful treats I’ll be presenting to you at our party. If you didn’t, fear not — save it all for a delightful weekend cooking project!

Okay, before we go on, I must share a secret with you.  I don’t make my own pastry cups for this dessert.  I used to — before I was a mom when there actually were enough hours in a day!  That said, I provided the recipe below because the pastry cups are yummy and fairly easy to make — they just take time.  I now buy, yes buy, chocolate liqueur cups.  They are delicious, superbly sculpted, and can be eaten in one bite!  Perfect!  You can get them here, or if you’re in LA, go to Surfas! They carry them in a few varieties, along with a million other kitchen and cooking items you can’t live without.

I made these Salted Caramel Chocolates for a fundraiser for my son’s school in May. One guest told me they were “truly a spiritual experience.” I’d have to agree! (The hostess that evening also happens to be a talented photographer who took the gorgeous shot featured above.  Thank you Trish Alison Photography!)

These do take some time, but I can’t urge you enough to try them.  It’ll be worth every minute! You won’t believe how good they are!!!  Quite possibly the most scrumptious dessert I’ve ever had and made! Go for it!

Salted Caramel Chocolates

This recipe is slightly revised from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course.

Salted Caramel Chocolates
 
Total Prep And Cooking Time: about 45 minutes (plus 4 hours chilling/setting-up time -- with ganache and salted caramel pre-made)
Serves: Makes 2 dozen
Ingredients
For the pastry cups:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
For the filling:
Instructions
  1. Bring both your ganache and salted caramel to room temperature, and set aside.
  2. To make the dough for the pastry cups, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar for about a minute. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue to mix until it's smooth. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and mix only until it's well combined. Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap and form it into a disk. Wrap it tightly and chill until it's firm, at least an hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour a clean work surface and use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 18 X 12-inch rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. Add flour to the surface of the dough, and under it, as needed. Then use a 2-1/2-inch round cutter or a paring knife (the circles you cut don't have to be exactly perfect) to cut out 2 dozen rounds. Gently press the rounds of dough into mini-muffin pans or 2-inch tart pans. You may have to pleat the dough along the sides so that it becomes somewhat flat against the side surface. Gently poke each one all over with a fork. Chill the cups for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the cups from the fridge and line each one loosely with foil and fill with dried beans, rice or pie weights. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and bake for another 5 minutes, until the dough looks dry. Place them on a cooling rack and do not fill them until they are at least room temperature.
  5. Now let's assemble! If your salted caramel isn't a pourable consistency, heat it in a saucepan or in the microwave just until it's soft enough to pour. Then divide it evenly among the pastry cups. Let the cups sit at room temperature until the caramel sets, at least 45 minutes.
  6. Like the caramel, if the ganache isn't pourable, warm it slightly in a saucepan or in the microwave -- only until it can be easily poured. Now pour the ganache to cover the surface of each caramel layer. Let this set at room temperature for about 2 hours. Sprinkle each one with the sea salt just before serving.
Notes
The pastry dough can be made up to 3 days ahead, and it can be baked up to 8 hours ahead, then kept at room temperature.

If you choose to buy the chocolate liqueur cups -- a great idea, I think -- they typically come 60 per package. Use the same measurements as listed above to fill the 60 cups. Using these cups also turns this into a gluten-free dessert. Again you can get them here, or if you're in LA, go to Surfas.

You might also like these delicious treats:
My favorite childhood brownies
Gluten-Free Brownies With Coconut Flour
Dulce De Leche Chocolate Pretzel Cookies
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Fudge
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi valentina! haven’t visited in a while and i have so much to catch up on your blog! these look fantastic and thanks for suggesting the shortcut. i LOVE shortcuts! i love salt + chocolate + caramel!

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