Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Knock-Off Salted Chocolate Caramel Candy

Since Hubs and I have been married, we've had the good fortune to have been able to travel to many places. One thing I've noticed during our travels is that no matter where you go, if it's a place that attracts tourist, there will most definitely be someone there trying to sell you something. Most often they're hocking a knock-off of some expensive name brand item. You can pick up a look alike Rolex watch, a Louis Vuitton purse, and a Hermes scarf, all for under $100.00, sometimes all from the same person. Some of the people selling these faux items can be pretty persistent. A firm "no thank-you" as we quickly walked on usually did the trick and the hawker would simply move on to some else. However, while we where visiting Rome, we had gotten lost while searching for what was supposedly the best pizza in Rome.(Finding the "best" whatever is a theme in our travels!) We ended up somewhat off the beaten path and ended up in a fairly secluded area where we ran into a man selling purses. We walked past him quickly and then realized we were going the wrong direction and had to walk back by him again. He took this as a sign that I really wanted a purse and began to try to get me to stop and look at the purses. Hubs and I hesitated just long enough that the purse hawker was sure he could close the deal. He began pulling out Prada's', Louis Vuitton's, etc... explaining what great quality they were and that they were the real deal. When Hub's said he knew they were fakes, the man got very animated. How dare we question the authenticity of these wonderful purses. Of course they were the real deal and very good quality as well. He insisted we feel the leather and all but forced me to take a Prada bag from him and hold it. At this point he felt he'd sealed the deal and began hounding Hubs to buy me the purse. I gave the bag back to him and tried to walk away. He grabbed a second bag and began to try to barter with Hubs on a price for not only a genuine Prada bag but he was going to throw in a Tom's bag practically free. He followed us down the mostly deserted street and long story short, I ended up with not one but two knock-off purses that day. I gave the "Prada" to my little sister, who loved it, and I kept the "Toms" bag. I still give Hubs a hard time about giving into the purse guy, but truthfully I used the "Toms" bag as a travel bag until the handle broke off several years later. 
These candies are like the knock-off Toms bag. I know homemade caramels are fantastic, way better then the cellophane wrapped knock-offs, but they are time consuming to make. So if your looking for a quick chocolately caramely fix, you can be popping this knock-off version in your mouth in almost no time flat. Since no one needs to know how easy they are to make, you can impress your family and friends with your confectionery prowess!

I'm not sure that a recipe is really necessary for these. It's pretty simple but here's a basic guide:

Salted Chocolate Caramel Candy

Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (I used about 1 cup)
Caramel candies, unwrapped 
Sea salt

Put the amount of chocolate chips called for in the recipe into the microwave-safe bowl and place the bowl in the microwave.
Set the microwave to 50 percent power for one minute. Chocolate burns easily and must always be melted using low heat.
Stir the chocolate chips after one minute. When melted in the microwave, chocolate chips hold their shape until pressed with a spoon. Don't rely on how the chocolate chips look to determine if they're adequately melted.
Return the chocolate chips to the microwave for 15 to 60 seconds, depending on how close they are to being melted. Stop heating the chocolate chips when they're slightly more than half melted and stir until smooth. Residual heat from the melted chocolate will melt any remaining un-melted pieces.

Drop the unwrapped caramels, one or two at a time into the melted chocolate. Roll the caramels in the chocolate until they are completely covered. Using a fork, lift the caramels out of the chocolate and place on a cookie cooling rack to set up. (If you place the rack over a cookie sheet it will keep the caramels from dripping chocolate all over your counter tops.) Sprinkle the tops of each caramel with a pinch of sea salt. Allow the chocolate on the caramels to cool until the chocolate sets. Enjoy!
I made these for Valentine's Day so I added a little heart sprinkle!


Otehlia said...

Nice! I think it's totally ok to knock-off if the starting point is delicious!

Helene said...

What a great treat, love the way you decorate them.

bellini said...

Travel for me is all about the food!

grace said...

this is so obviously a great idea--i can't believe i've never seen it done! good thinking!

Elizabeth said...

These are so pretty with the small heart on top!