“Oh, my!”Chocolate Salted Caramel Pie

January is the month people tend to get more seriously health conscious or even crazy. After often over indulging throughout the holidays, folks resolve themselves to be better in the new year and diets will start. If you are like me you have every intention of following through on those new year’s health resolutions. That was definitely the plan until my Chatelaine magazine arrived featuring an enticing recipe for a Chocolate Salted Caramel pie.  In an instant all bets were off for me being on a prolonged disciplined caloric intake program. But what really sealed the deal for me falling off the wellness wagon was a bottle of Criollo (Chocolate Caramel Salted liqueur) I received at Christmas that I was just itching to use. I still had leftover Christmas pie dough and making a pie is always so much easier if the dough is already finished.  I made some subtle changes to the Chatelaine recipe as my first attempt at caramel with their directions did not work.  And I, of course, had to add the lovely liquid enhancement.

Ingredients

Pie Shell

sweet dough – please see Past Post for ingredients and instructions

Caramel Layer

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 water

1/2 cup 35% cream – room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pink salt ( can also use Fleur de Sel )

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Chocolate Ganache Filling

1 1/4  cup 70% dark chocolate roughly chopped

1 cup cream

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon pink salt (can also use Fleur de Sel)

2 tablespoons Criollo Chocolate Caramel Salted liqueur ( can use any liquor or alcohol of your preference OR omit completely)

Topping

1/2 cup whipping cream/ 35%

1/4 icing sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract/OR liqueur of your choice – I added the Criollo once again

2 tablespoons Chocolate shavings

Caramel Directions

– caramel can be very finicky so it takes some practise but once you get the hang of it you will be making caramel all the time

– there are two different types of caramel making: wet and hard, we will be making wet caramel for this recipe we want a runny gooey soft caramel

– it is very easy to get burned making caramel as well as burning the caramel itself: you need to be careful and  your pot needs to be watched constantly

– for safety sake have a small bowl of water by the stove in case of emergency

– also have a small bowl of water with a pastry brush: when the sugar is heated the sides of your pot will start to crystallize, dip the pastry brush in the water and brush down sides of pot

1) in a large saucepan add 1/4 cup water and sprinkle sugar over top of water

2) on high heat bring to a boil- do not stir/can lift pan and swish liquid around but don’t stir

3) continue to let mixture boil until it turns a light amber colour- BUT watch very carefully as caramel will turn from a beautiful amber to a dark brown instantly and you will have burnt sugar

4) when sugar mixture is a light amber /remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cream and 3/4 teaspoon salt- be careful as this is where the cream might splatter up and over-so this is why you use a large pot

5) stir until cream is blended through

6) pour caramel into warm pastry and place in fridge until firm about 30min

Instructions for Chocolate Ganache

1) place chopped chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl

2) pour 1 cup of cream in a small saucepan and heat on medium setting

3) heat to just prior to boiling

4) pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for 2min

5) stir chocolate mixture until cream is completely combined and mixture is smooth

6) add 2 teaspoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt and your liquor if using and mix until combined

7) cool for about 10 minutes or until chocolate is cool to touch

8) pour chocolate over caramel in pie shell and refrigerate until firm – about 2 hours

PRIOR to serving take out of fridge and let sit for 10-15 min

hot cream poured over chocoalte

hot cream poured over chocolate

mixing chocolate and cream until smooth

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cooled ganache in pie shell

cooled ganache in pie shell

TOPPING

1) place cream in a large bowl and beat with hand mixer or stand mixer for 2 minutes on high

2) slowly add icing sugar to cream and beat for another 2 min on high or until soft peak stage

3) add vanilla and liqueur(if adding) and beat on high until stiff peak stage

4) with a pastry bag fitted with star tip fill with whipped cream

5) add rosettes along outside edge of pie

6) add chocolate shavings overtop of whipped cream rosettes

7) I had some extra caramel so I added in center of pie and then I sprinkled salt over caramel

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pipe whipping cream and add chocoalte shavings

pipe whipping cream and add chocolate shavings

extra caramel

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add pink salt on top of caramel

add pink salt on top of caramel

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NOTE- if I make again I will choose to drizzle caramel over pie instead, as the big caramel in center made the pie very difficult to cut

This dessert makes an excellent grand finale to a meal.  Great to serve at a dinner party as 95% of pie can be done the day before and the presentation is guaranteed to impress. It does tend to be on the rather rich side, however, so ensure your dinner is not several courses or too heavy.  There is no doubt that the pairing of chocolate with salted caramel in this recipe is a match made in heaven.  Add the devilish liqueur and even angels would find this temptation irresistible.

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