Being creative in the kitchen and making the house smell wonderfully Christmassy is definitely one of the best things about the run up to Christmas. This weekend just gone, with Frey out on adventures on the moors with his Dad, Alfie and I got cosy in the kitchen, we had Christmas tunes playing, sugared orange slices drying in the oven, and I set about creating these Salted Caramel Filled Chocolates.
I’ve never made caramel before, but soft caramel filled chocolates are one of my favourites, so when Indigo Herbs contacted me to ask if I’d like to create a Christmas recipe with some of their products, this was one of the first things I thought of.
The main ingredient of the caramel filling is coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is a fantastic alternative to cane sugar. It has a delicious brown sugary taste, and smells incredible! Indigo Herbs says…
Indigo Herbs Organic Coconut Sugar come from sustainable co-operatives in Sri Lanka where the palms are grown in certified organic plantations. Coconut sugar is made by harvesting the blossoms of a coconut tree. Farmers make a cut on the spadix and let the sap flow into containers and then gently heat the sap until all water evaporates. The resulting syrup is then dried and milled into sugar. In comparison with cane sugar which has a Glycemic Index of around 68, Indigo Herbs Organic Coconut Sugar comes with a GI of around 35.
For the caramel filling
50g Coconut Sugar
50g Creamed Coconut
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of pink himalayan salt (optional)
For the raw chocolate
100g Cacao butter
6 tbsp Cacao powder
4 tbsp Agave Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
Add the coconut sugar and 50ml of the water to a pan and bring to the boil.
Then, add the remaining 100ml of water along with the creamed coconut. Allow the mixture to simmer away on a low heat, stirring regularly, until it has thickened up. This took around 40 minutes, but keep an eye on your caramel and remove from the heat once you have the right consistency. The caramel will be darker than shop bought soft caramel, but this is because of the darker colour of the coconut sugar.
Once you have removed from the heat, then stir in your vanilla extract and salt.
Place your caramel to one side, and make your raw chocolate.
Melt the cacao butter gently in a glass bowl or jug over a pan of hot water. I used a glass jug as it was then easier to pour the mixture into the chocolate mould.
Once the cacao butter has completely melted, remove from the heat and add all of the remaining ingredients and stir until the mixture is smooth.
Pour a small amount of the raw chocolate into the bottom of your chocolate moulds (I got mine from Ebay) and pop the moulds into the fridge for 20 minutes or so for the chocolate to set.
Next, add the caramel, then top off again with more raw chocolate. Then put the chocolates back into the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
You will have some caramel left over from this recipe, and it would make a wonderful topping for some ice cream… or make some more chocolates! They would make a lovely Christmas gift. I’m going to give some to my neighbours this year.
All the ingredients are available from Indigo Herbs of Glastonbury, apart from the creamed coconut which I found in my local shop.
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