Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix

For Christmas this year I made a few different goodies to hand out, mostly candy types. My kids love hot cocoa and often love to get into the can of cocoa and make the recipe from the back. Well I thought this would be a nice treat to have on hand, ready to measure out saving any messes they make. This was really great, I used 1 1/2 TBL of salt not the full amount in the original recipe, I'm not a salty fan of most foods. You can still taste it just fine. Making the caramel is easy however you will need a food processor to pulverize it into powder, which almost killed mine, poor machine lol. I gave away this to family as gifts since it makes a lot.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix
From Pennies on a Platter
Yield: 32 servings

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups good quality cocoa powder
1 to 3 tablespoons good sea salt (My preference is 1 1/2 TBL)
1 cup dry milk powder
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
10 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or use your silpat); set aside. Heat the 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar in a large heavy pan, over medium heat, without stirring. When the sugar begins to melt, take the handle of the pan and swirl it to melt without burning. The sugar might seem to crystallize, but it will eventually melt to a deep amber color. (Can take 15-20 minutes, so be patient.)

Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vanilla. Whisk the caramel until smooth again, then immediately pour it onto the lined baking sheet. Allow it to spread without touching it. Set aside and let the caramel harden, at least 1 hour (mine took less time).

When ready to make the mix, use the back of a large spoon to tap the caramel several times into small broken pieces that can fit into the feeding tube of a large food processor. Turn the processor on, and while running, feed the caramel pieces into the tube so the processor pulverizes the caramel into a fine powder. Continue to add the pieces, a few at a time, until it is completely powder (a cloud of caramel dust will float out of the tube and it will sound like it's going to break your machine lol). Turn the processor off and follow the next steps to complete the mix.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate, into the food processor with the caramel powder. Replace the lid and process until smooth. Add the chocolate to the bowl and process again until the mixture is a fine powder.

Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place for up to one month. To serve, stir 3 tablespoons mix into 1 cup hot milk.

caramel ready to harden

caramel being pulverized into powder

caramel powder

time to enjoy a cup on this cold morning

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