(Featured Recipe: White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cups)
My ardent passion for chocolate, or as I call it- Crazy Kind Of Love For Chocolate, has caused me to seek out the most indulgent and satisfying chocolate confections and pastries I can find. In my local area, there are a few places I visit that I enjoy returning to in order to purchase desserts that truly satisfy my chocolate cravings. One of my favorite places to shop is the Earth Fare health and wellness supermarket. When I want to give myself some time off from the kitchen and treat myself to an intense dark chocolate smooth and creamy dessert, I go straight to Earth Fare’s bakery counter for a slice of their Dark Chocolate Truffle Torte made with unsweetened chocolate and Belgian semi-sweet chocolate. I also fell in love with their Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins, Chocolate Carrot Cake (with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting) and Vegan Chocolate Brownies, consisting of a fudge-like texture, made with maple syrup. Unfortunately, they no longer carry the last two desserts. I was truly a fan. Maybe with a little wishful thinking, they’ll bring those wonderful and lavish sweet delights back again.
Sating the Chocolate Urges
There are other places I have visited where the chocolate desserts lack in robust and luxurious chocolate flavor- so, those times when I desperately need to sate my chocolate urges, I head out to one of my favorite places for a decadent chocolate gourmet treat- or I head into the kitchen to make my own.
What Better Time Than Now
I headed into the kitchen this month to prepare White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cups. There’s no time like the present than to go ahead and treat yourself to these incredible white chocolate confections. The combination of white chocolate, salted caramel and pistachios (roasted with sea salt) produces a truly divine dessert. I also make these confections using dark and milk chocolate. There are so many ways to top or finish them, so feel free to let your creativity flow. If you’d like to share ways that you topped your dessert cups, please post in the comment section.
The variations of this recipe include White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cups (Quick Caramel Sauce Version) and White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cookie Cups.
|WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE SALTED CARAMEL FILLED CUPS
Recipe By Shirell Dalton, The Simple Chocolatier
Active Time: 55 minutes Yields 8 filled chocolate cups
Chocolate Cups (Dark Chocolate Blend):
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (containing cocoa butter)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (containing cocoa butter)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sea-Salted Caramel Sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in cubes
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon raw honey
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (more or less, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
White Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces white chocolate (containing cocoa butter) – see note below
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon raw honey (or light corn syrup) – see note below
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Toppings (optional): shelled pistachios roasted with sea salt and white or dark chocolate shavings
To make the Chocolate Cups (Dark Chocolate Blend)– In a dry microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl, combine the chocolate chips and add the coconut oil. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds then remove and stir (do not use metal or wet utensils); repeat this process at shorter intervals, stirring every 15 seconds until the chocolate is smooth.
Use silicone or plastic molds for the chocolate cups (I used silicone baking cups sold at Michaels craft stores). Use a mini rubber or silicone spatula (can also use the backside of a plastic teaspoon) to apply a coat of the melted chocolate along the sides and bottom of the mold. Place in the freezer, allowing the chocolate to become slightly set. Remove from the freezer and add another coat of chocolate to the slightly set chocolate. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until the chocolate is completely set.
Remove the chocolate from the silicone cups by gently pulling back the sides of the silicone cups and pushing upwards to release the chocolate. Place the chocolate cups on a wax or parchment paper lined plate or tray. Return to the refrigerator until ready to fill.
To make the Sea-Salted Caramel Sauce– Add unsalted butter, brown sugar, honey and cream to a small saucepan and gently whisk on medium-low heat for about 6 minutes. Bring temperature up to medium-high and allow sauce to boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and sea salt (omit the sea salt if you prefer a regular caramel sauce). Set aside. The caramel will thicken as it cools. Allow it to cool at room temperature then pour into the chocolate cups. Fill the cups about halfway. Place in the refrigerator until the caramel sets.
To make the White Chocolate Ganache– Roughly chop 8 ounces of white chocolate (use two 4 ounce white chocolate baking bars) and place into a medium size heatproof bowl. Place bowl aside. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, unsalted butter and honey (or light corn syrup). Bring to a light boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and pour over the white chocolate. Gently swirl the bowl to cover the chocolate completely with the cream mixture. Slowly whisk until the white chocolate is completely melted. Place the ganache in the refrigerator until it becomes firm.
Remove the partially filled caramel chocolate cups from the refrigerator. Pipe or spoon the ganache on top of the caramel in each cup, filling the chocolate cups to the rim. Use roasted sea salted pistachios and chocolate shavings to top the White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cups.
Note: I recommend using Ghirardelli Chocolate White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar or Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Bar. You can also find good quality white chocolate sold in bulk at some stores.
White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cups (Quick Caramel Sauce Version)– Use 25 Kraft Caramels. Unwrap each caramel and place in a ceramic or glass microwave safe bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the same amount of sea salt as above to this recipe or, more or less, to taste. Stir the salt into the hot caramel. If the caramel is not smooth, return to the microwave for 1 minute more then remove and stir. Any unused portion can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator. When using the caramel for a recipe, remove it from the refrigerator and microwave until smooth.
White Chocolate Ganache Salted Caramel Filled Cookie Cups– To make the cookie crumb crust, mix together 3/4 cups of cookie crumbs, 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (or coconut oil), and about 2 tablespoons of egg white.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chocolate cookie wafers in a gallon size food storage bag then use a rolling pin to crush the cookies into crumbs. In a medium bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, butter and egg white. Press cookie mixture onto the bottom and sides of the silicone baking cups. Bake for about 5-6 minutes. Allow the crusts to cool then turn the baking cups over in your hand in order to release the crusts. Makes 5 small cookie crumb crusts.
Note: The purpose of using the egg white in this recipe is so that the ingredients bind together well which will cause the crust to hold its shape once removed from the baking cups. I used 365 Everyday Value Chocolate Sandwich Cremes (Whole Foods Market product) for this recipe. I removed the creme filling. If you prefer a sweeter crust, add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the cookie crumb crust recipe.
Another option for a sweeter crust is to leave the creme filling on the cookies and proceed to crush the cookies into crumbs. You will need to only add about 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of egg white and 2 teaspoons of unsalted butter (or coconut oil) to the crumbs.
White Chocolate and Nut Pairing: Other tasty nuts to top your white chocolate ganache with are almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia, or pine nuts. Toast the nuts for added flavor.
Mocha or Dark Chocolate Ganache: The chocolate cups can also be filled with other flavors of ganache. Recipes for mocha ganache and dark chocolate ganache are included in my cookbook- The Simple Chocolatier (coming soon).
Dark, Milk or White Chocolate: The chocolate cups in the recipe are made using a dark chocolate blend, but the cups can also be made using bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk or white chocolate chips. For 1 cup of milk chocolate or white chocolate chips, use 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. The white chocolate and milk or dark chocolate can also be painted or spread on the inside of the silicone baking cups to make a marbled chocolate cup.
Recipes developed by Shirell Dalton – The Simple Chocolatier Copyright ©2016 Shirell Dalton, All Rights Reserved
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