Sweet recipes: Chocolate caramels for Valentine’s Day

Chocolate caramels: Kristen Massad
Chocolate caramels: Kristen Massad

Starting in February, local pastry chef Kristen Massad of Ink Foods writes a monthly column about how to make gourmet desserts at home.

So many wonderful traditions tell the story of Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t love a bouquet of red roses, a heart full of chocolates and yummy Champagne? Mix it up this year and share the love of handmade food with family and friends; there is nothing more romantic than that. I want to share one of my favorite treats: chocolate caramels. These little gems are ideal because they fall somewhere between the chewiest caramels and the most decadent dark chocolate fudge. If you love chocolate, play around with the different intensities, and choose your favorite brand to make these bite-sized confections your own. Before serving or wrapping the caramels individually, garnish each one with powdered sugar, cocoa powder, nuts or spicy red hearts. Pour yourself a glass of Champagne and toast to chocolate caramels that are sure to be a Valentine’s Day tradition.

Chocolate caramels
The perfect combination of chewy caramels and chocolate fudge

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Ingredients:
500 ml heavy cream
1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
2 ¾ cup corn syrup
1 ½ tablespoons butter, cubed
1 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
9-inch square pan lined with foil

Directions:
Combine the first three ingredients in a saucepan, and cook to 245 F, stirring constantly.

Remove the pot from the heat. Add the cubed butter and chopped chocolate and stir to combine (do not over-mix or the ingredients will separate).

Immediately pour the mixture into the foil-lined pan.

Let it cool at room temperature until set.

Cut the caramel into the desired shape and size.

Leave the caramels plain or dredge in powdered sugar or a mixture of cocoa powder and powdered sugar.

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Wrap caramels in wax paper and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Makes about 50 1 ½-inch pieces, takes 30 minutes

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