I found this recipe in the August 2011 issue of Glamour. While the instructions suggest using round pans and calls them chocolate caramel minis, I decided to make mine in heart shaped holders instead.
There are three parts to this relatively easy recipe. It starts with a graham cracker crust, then a layer of caramel, and a layer of chocolate ganache. I didn't think to take pictures of the process as I was making them except to take a picture as I was making the caramel. The steps might seem difficult if you've never made caramel or ganache before, but all that you have to do is follow the directions. I had never made either one before I tried this recipe, and I didn't have any difficulties.
Allow at least 3 and 1/2 hours to make these chocolate caramel pies. Most of this time will be only require waiting for the different layers to set in the fridge so you can do other things in between each of the steps.
Also, if you don't want to make several small pies, you can make a 9" pie. For this, Glamour recommends pouring the layer of ganache before the layer of caramel to make it easier to cut.
For the graham cracker crust you will need:
1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, mix together the crackers, sugar, and melted butter. Divide the mixture into your mini pie pans (mine made 4 mini pies) and press out into a crust. Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes. Finally, bake for 10 minutes and let cool.
For the caramel you will need:
3 tbsp corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp sour cream
Over medium heat whisk corn syrup, sugar, fleur de sel, and water in a sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil until the color is a deep amber. Be patient because this might take some time, but make sure to watch so that you don't overcook here. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully whisk in the butter, heavy cream, and sour cream until the mixture is smooth. Pour a layer of caramel into the already baked mini crusts (filling about half way.) Let this cool for 30 minutes. Place in the fridge for about 2 hours to let the caramel cool completely.
|Waiting for the corn syrup, sugar, fleur de sel, and water to turn amber.|
For the chocolate ganache you will need:
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
a little fleur de sel for garnish
Over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Place chocolate in a bowl and pour in hot cream. Let this sit for one minute. Then, stir in one direction until smooth. You will pour a layer of chocolate ganache over the chilled layer of caramel. Place it in the fridge for an hour to set. Finally sprinkle with fleur de sel and enjoy.
Your finished chocolate mini hearts should look something like the first picture. As you can see, I didn't quite manage to get the graham cracker crusts completely perfect, but the taste is so good that it doesn't matter.
I will definitely be making these again!
Update: We've linked this post on The Find Some Love Fest. There are tons of links to cute Valentine's posts and more will be added until February 14th, so check it out!