Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Chews (vegan, grain free)

Here’s another chocolate recipe, inspired by Ricki.  I’m no chocolate making expert – this is all new to me.  But can I tell you, I’m having a BLAST experimenting.  I’m sure this recipe, like all things, will evolve over time.  This latest creation is chocolate stuffed full of ooey gooey caramel.  Reminds me of a Caramello (anyone remember those)?  I just can't eat traditionally made caramel (my stomach hurts just looking at those ingredients).  But I can tell you in all honesty, this is a very, very tasty alternative.  And I feel really good about the ingredients.  I just know Scott is going to go crazy over these when he gets home.  Can you tell I love surprising my husband with chocolate.  I’m working on a few other homemade chocolate recipes: ginger chocolates and bacon chocolates (yes, bacon- I know, crazy, but I hear it’s all the rage). I hope you enjoy these in the meantime.  And you can visit here for my chocolate covered strawberries (sweetened with stevia). 

Ingredients
Chocolate
-2 ounces cocoa butter, shaved 
-1/4 cup cashew butter *
-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder 
-1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup or coconut nectar 
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
-Pinch of salt 

Caramel
-3 tablespoons yacon syrup
-2 tablespoons coconut sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
-Pinch of salt

How To:
1.  In a small non-stick pan add chocolate ingredients and melt - taking care to not burn.  I recommend stirring the entire time.  Remove from heat once in a while, continue stirring.  Stir to break down the cashew butter.  When the mixture looks smooth with no cashew butter chunks, transfer to 1 cup glass Pyrex (with pour spout).
2.  Fill each miniature silicone baking cup 1/3 of the way with chocolate. 
3.  Place in fridge or freezer to set up.  (The chocolate will only take a few minutes to set up in the freezer).
4.  While the chocolate is setting up, make the caramel.  In a small non-stick pan, add the caramel ingredients.  Heat ingredients on med/low, and stir the entire time.  You want to heat this slowly and dissolve the coconut sugar.  Remove from heat when the mixture starts to thicken and stir rapidly, then transfer to a small bowl.  
5.  Remove chocolate from fridge for freezer.  They should be completely solid.
6.  Add an equal amount of caramel to each cup, filling to the halfway mark.  I use a slightly oiled spoon to get the caramel out of the bowl.  It will thicken and get very sticky as it cools.  So work quickly.  After you've filled each cup, the caramel should be firm inside the cups from the cold chocolate.
7.  At this point, simply fill the cups with the remaining chocolate and place back in the fridge or freezer.  I utilize the freezer.

Notes:
*To make cashew butter, add 1 - 2 cups raw cashews to food processor.  Turn on and blend until creamy.  It will get creamy right after the ball of nut butter forms.

*
Melting the chocolate: 
Caramel Sauce: 
Middle layer of caramel:

Sliced open: 

 The caramel stays nice and chewy in the fridge 

11 comments:

  1. Feel free to send some of those to the office!! They look delish!

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  2. Yum! I've been wondering how on earth to make a dairy-free caramel, and now I know - can't wait to try this. (Also been looking for recipes that use yacon in some form, so thanks!)

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  3. so much fun! I have yet to get some yacon syrup....I am off to order some right now!

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  4. Oh my, these look delicious. My favorite candy's are reese's peanut butter cups, I always love a healthier way to make my favorite things. I'll pin it and try it out.

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  5. Yum!!! Can't wait to try. I am going to try maybe w/ yacon...I wonder about vegetable glycerine.......Yacon is sooooo expensive!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Oh, you'll love them. You don't have to use yacon. I like it bc it's grain free and super thick. You could also use brown rice syrup, even maple syrup would work, you would just have to cook it down a bit and perhaps omit the coconut sugar? I don't know about vegetable glycerine. I've never used it in cooking. I agree that yacon is expensive, but I've had my jar for months...it lasts a long time, as I only use it a little in ginger cookies and for thick caramel sauces. I try to save in other ways to make room for these more pricey food items. :-) Let me know about your changes and how it turns out.

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  6. Oh my goodness, how divine, Amber! I have yacon syrup and everything else excep cocoa butter. Boo. Will make in the future though. ;-)

    xo,
    Shirley

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  7. I just finished dinner and now I want to eat these!!! Wow, I need to get some yacon syrup as well. These chews look amazing Amber!

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  8. These look so good. Normally stuff like this requires too much effort for my busy and exhausting day but I think I'll try these out.

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