These Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cups are the perfect little creamy, salty, one-bite treat!
Put on your comfy pants because you’re about to tuck into a bag full of these dark chocolate salted caramel cups. I 100% support putting on a few pounds and not feeling a tiny bit bad about it for the sake of this kind of joy because – 1) Life is short and this is the kind of thing that makes life worth living and 2) It’s winter and it’s cold and we could all use a little extra padding to keep us warm. That’s just science and safety.
I decided to get started on my Christmas baking last week (which obviously includes these dark chocolate salted caramel cups and my favorite Christmas cut out cookies!), assuming I would put it all in the freezer and just pull it out in time for the holiday. What I didn’t anticipate was that Jeron and I would stress eat everything straight out of the freezer before Christmas even arrived while watching the Westworld finale. Oops.
These dark chocolate salted caramel cups are everything you want in a dessert. The chocolate is rich with a salty sprinkle on top. The caramel is creamy, buttery, and sweet with its own hint of salt. The whole thing is one little poppable bite that makes it easy to go back for more.
This recipe makes a lot of caramel cups, but they are so tiny that I think you’ll be alright. You could definitely go big time and make them in a full size muffin tin, but I think they would be incredibly messy to eat. Or keep them in mini muffin tins and only use half as much chocolate, then use the leftover caramel in one of these delightful ways:
- Drizzle on top of brownies
- Enjoy over ice cream
- Spread on cut out cookies in place of frosting
- Eat with apple slices
- Pour over the top of baked brie
- Use for topping cheesecake
- Eat with a spoon
This is the easiest caramel recipe because you don’t even need a candy thermometer. It’s very important not to stir the sugar mixture once it starts boiling, just swirl the pan every now and then, otherwise it will crystalize. Other than that, just wait for it to turn the color of an old, delicious penny and you’re ready to move on!
This is the perfect dessert to keep in the freezer any time of year, but I love sharing them around the holidays because otherwise I will definitely eat all of them! If you’re looking for a slightly healthier chocolate cup recipe without budging on taste, I highly recommend my almond butter cups and dark chocolate banana and almond butter cups!
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Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Cups
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 24 ounces dark chocolate, I used 70%, roughly chopped
- Fleur de sel, or your favorite coarse salt
- In a heavy bottomed 3 quart saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium high heat, whisking constantly until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture reaches a boil, stop whisking and allow to boil until it reaches a dark amber color, swirling the pan occasionally. Once the mixture is the color of an old penny, add the butter and whisk until it is completely melted. Remove from the heat, wait 3 seconds, and slowly whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously and begin to smooth out. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth. Whisk in the salt. Allow the caramel to cool for a bit in the pan before transferring to a glass jar or other heat-proof container and placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
- Line four mini muffin pans with paper liners (or work in batches if you don’t have enough pans). Set aside.
- Place two thirds of the chopped chocolate in a double boiler or glass bowl over a simmering pot of water. Allow to melt completely, stirring occasionally. Once completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add in the remaining chocolate, stirring until it is also completely melted and smooth.
- Spoon half the chocolate into the paper liners, being sure not to fill each one more than halfway, and using the spoon to bring the chocolate up the sides a bit. Place the chocolate liners in the freezer for a few minutes until firm. Spoon a bit of cooled caramel into each cup, then top with the remaining chocolate. Sprinkle each chocolate with a little coarse salt and allow to set at room temperature, or place in the freezer for a few minutes before transferring the chocolates to a freezer safe bag. Store chocolates in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to enjoy.