Today is Quinten’s and my anniversary. 23 years! Since money has been so tight lately, I hadn’t planned to go out for dinner like we normally do. Instead, I planned a simple lasagna dinner and wanted to find a truly decadent dessert to make up for staying in. I think I succeeded, if I do say so myself. The caramel sauce takes time but the flavor is worth it–it could be a Starbucks caramel copy (and my girls are already making plans for the leftovers in their coffee in the morning). The amount of cream in this recipe is staggering so there are no plans to include a calorie count. Ever.
Dark Chocolate Custard with Salted Caramel Sauce
Dark Chocolate Custard
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
3 TB cocoa powder
Up to ¼ tsp salt, to taste
4 egg yolks
1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1 TB vanilla
1 TB salted butter
Measure 1 cup of chocolate and pour into a large mixing bowl. Place a fine mesh sieve over the bowl and set aside.
Heat the cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat stirring often until just before the mixture boils. Beat egg yolks well in small bowl while cream mixture is heating. When cream mixture is hot, remove from heat and slowly whisk in enough of the cream mixture into the eggs until the eggs are warm (about a cup of the cream will need to be added). The key is to add the hot mixture slowly enough to keep the eggs from scrambling.
Once the egg mixture is warm, pour it back into the saucepan and stir well. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture boils, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour through the sieve in the mixing bowl. The sieve will catch any lumps or bits of cooked egg leaving you with a creamy consistency. The hot custard will begin to melt the chocolate in the bowl.
Stir the chocolate and custard together and allow to stand for a couple of minutes to allow the chocolate to melt completely. Stir in the vanilla and butter until everything is completely mixed. Pour into 8 small containers (I like to use 4 oz. mason jars) and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Salted Caramel Sauce
2 TB salted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar (I used light brown in the pictures and think that dark would give it a better flavor)
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup cream
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ to ½ cup additional cream
Mix together the butter, brown sugar, sea salt, and ½ cup cream. Bring to boil over medium heat. Continue cooking and stirring over medium heat until caramel reaches firm ball stage. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and enough of the cream to make a thick sauce. Allow to cool to room temperature, adding more cream if needed, before drizzling over custard.