A Sea of Chocolate
When I go to the mall (which isn't very often), I stop by Purdy's Chocolates on my way out and indulge in just one dark-chocolate covered caramel sprinkled with pink Himalayan sea salt. I take it out to the car and eat it there, slowly, by myself, then drive home. The combination of flavours is irresistible.
I've been haunted by the thought of a sauce that would combine all these flavours. A sauce to pour over ice cream, sliced bananas, fudgy brownies, or even to eat a spoonful straight from the jar.
Our son-in-law who has been staying with us for the past month is wide-eyed at the amount of chocolate his wife and I have been eating. All in the name of taste-testing, of course. Here's the product of our testing, a smooth sauce with hints of caramel, salty goodness, and not too much chocolate.
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup cream (33% - whipping cream)
2 Tablespoons butter (I used salted)
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon sifted cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon cream (save back 1 Tablespoon from the first amount, or add another)
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
In a 1 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium high heat, let the sugar and water come to a boil. Do not stir, but occasionally swirl the pan. Watch carefully as the mixture begins to caramelize. Let the mixture caramelize to a golden brown colour, ensuring that it does not burn.
Remove from the heat and add the cream, butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir with a spoon, or a small whisk. The mixture will be a gloppy mess and you'll think you've ruined the sauce, but stay with it and stir. Set the pot over very low heat to help the combining, stirring constantly.
When the mixture is smooth, whisk in the vanilla and cocoa powder. Then whisk in 1 Tablespoon cream and 1/4 teaspoon of the sea salt. Adding the cream at this stage will aid in smoothing the sauce even more. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
Let the sauce cool, then stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Add this extra salt later keeps it from dissolving and allows for the hit of salt that tastes so delicious!
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of sauce.