Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Busy Cooking: Salted Caramel Mocha

So, you may have noticed I never posted the Halloween stuff I was planning to do.  A few weeks ago, I fell during bootcamp and injured my wrist.  There are certain things I can't do, like push with my left hand, or lift things that require my wrist to twist at all.  One of the things I couldn't do was twist the handle on my espresso maker, so I was frequenting Starbucks more than normal- I can't live without coffee.

When the salted caramel mocha was first released, I tried it and didn't really like it, I thought it was too sugary.  One day last week, I was getting coffee and my husband said he didn't want one.  That usually means he is just going to take a few large sips out of mine.  I thought I'd be the good wife and get his favorite drink, the salted caramel mocha.  It ended up being really good and I was hoping he wouldn't want even one sip.  In fact, it was so good, that when he did take his sip, he went to the next Starbucks we drove by and got his own.

I remembered coming across this recipe for Salted Caramel Mocha cupcakes and the coffee drink on Bakingdom.  Last weekend, I was thinking I would surprise my husband and try to make him a homemade salted caramel mocha.  WOW- it was WAY WAY better than Starbucks.  In fact, I had two that very day.  We didn't have any whipped cream, so I had to whip up some fresh stuff to get the full effect.

The salted caramel is even delicious on it's own, I couldn't stop licking the spoon.  I think this may have opened up a can of worms as far as me and making lots more recipes involving salted caramel.  The homemade salted caramel popcorn I made last year is soo good, if you haven't tried that, check it out.

Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 TBSP light corn syrup
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp sea salt crushed (I actually used kosher because it's all I had)

Salted Caramel Mocha:
1 shot espresso or 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee
6-8 oz steamed milk (you can microwave if you can't steam it)
2 TBSP salted caramel sauce
1 TBSP chocolate sauce (I used starbucks mocha powder, but you can use Herseys dark syrup too)

Homemade whipped cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp sugar
splash vanilla

For the salted caramel sauce:
1) Stir sugar, water, and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring, swirl pan occasionally.  I thought it might stick without stirring, but as it boils, it dissolves.  Continue boiling until a dark amber color is achieved.

2) Remove from heat, immediately stir in butter, salt, and heavy cream.  It will foam up slightly, so be ready.

3) Let cool to room temperature and enjoy.  Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.  ** Mine was firm the next day, but I was able to scoop out the caramel with the spoon and scrape it into the cup, the hot milk helped it dissolve, and if left out at room temp for about five minutes, it started getting softer. 
For the salted caramel mocha:
Put 2 TBSP salted caramel in bottom of cup and 1 TBSP chocolate sauce.  Pour espresso or coffee in, stir in milk.  Top with whipped cream.  Drizzle more salted caramel sauce on top, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and sugar (I had some sweet caramel sprinkle from the Pampered Chef that I used too).
**There will be enough salted caramel sauce for about 10 salted caramel mochas.

For fresh whipped cream:
Put heavy cream in a bowl with the sugar.  Beat with hand mixer on high for about 1 minute until stiff peaks form, the cream will retain it's shape.  Fold in vanilla.

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