SEA SALT CARAMEL & CHOCOLATE FONDUE
For over a decade, my girls have hosted an ornament swap the first Sunday in December. It isn't so much about the bauble, but rather the packaging in which it is wrapped--usually an enticing piece of candy has been cleverly showcased on the outside of the box. After the yankee style swap, the girls gather for merry making in a room decorated in over the top holiday spirit. Hot chocolate mugs are filled, Christmas crackers popped, and heaping piles of pretzels, fruit, marshmallows, and cookies are ready for the fondue forks to dip into tiny pots of caramel and chocolate fondue. Over the years, I have learned to have two pots on the kitchen counter for parents to enjoy....this fondue tradition is irresistible. Have forks ready! The fondue pots at our Weston table are out for New Year's celebration and Valentine's Day too.
Nota bene: The caramel and chocolate fondues may be made up to three days in advance and reheated just before serving. The best dipping fruits are apples, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, mangoes, pears, and bananas. The apples and pears may be sliced in advance and put in small glass dishes with cold water and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Just before serving, lay fruit on paper towels to dry while plating other items. Cut the banana last. Both flavors last a week in the refrigerator.
The chocolate fondue may be flavored with 1 ounce of brandy, amaretto, Kahlúa, kirsch, or any other liquor at the same time the vanilla is added.
SEA SALT CARAMEL
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
3. Once the mixture reaches a boil, stop stirring. Using a CANDY THERMOMETER, heat to exactly 233 degrees F.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 220 degrees F. Stir in vanilla, additional cup of cream, and the sea salt flakes.
5. At this point, the caramel may be cooled and refrigerated until ready to eat. Reheat over low heat just before serving.
1. Put the chocolate in a medium sized glass bowl and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until steaming (do not boil).
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, add the vanilla, espresso powder, and sea salt flakes. Stir to combine.
SEA SALT CARAMEL
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/4 cups superfine sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
12 ounces unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
2 cups heavy cream
24 ounces high quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate (chopped or chips)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch of sea salt