Valentine’s day may be over – but I’m willing to bet that you still have a ton of chocolate lying around after all of the festivities. Which is amazing news for you– because I have a magical little recipe to share with you today, and one of the two ingredients you need for it just happens be your favorite chocolate! But the magical part of this recipe isn’t the chocolate (although chocolate does have it’s own sweet little kind of magic, of course ;) ! ), but the caramel. I first learned about date caramel a few years back, and after seeing how simple it was and deciding to test it out– well, it was love at first bite! The only things you need for this sweet, heavenly treat are: dates, and water. That’s it!
For this recipe, I’m giving the tried and true date caramel a little fancy-shmancy upgrade by adding a little sea salt to taste (à la salted caramel) but it would taste amazing sans salt as well so really it’s up to you!
For this recipe, you’ll need: 6 oz of chocolate (I used vegan semi-sweet chocolate chunks, but you can break up any leftover chocolate bars, or use whatever is in your cupboard or that you prefer!)
*You can add more if you want to make more, or less if you only want to make a couple! I used 6 oz to make 6 chocolate caramel cups– but I could have probably squeezed another cup out of the recipe if my husband hadn’t decided he needed a spoonful or two of melted chocolate while I wasn’t looking… LOL
6 Medjool dates (Make sure they are Medjool, andnot Deglet Noor. Medjool dates have a caramel flavor profile, and they are soft and juicy whereas Deglet Noor are much harder dates and while sweet, don’t have much of a caramel note so they won’t blend up like caramel!)
½ cup water
Pink Himalayan salt to taste
1 microwave safe bowl
Parchment paper muffin tin liners (I used parchment paper so they wouldn’t stick and would come out more easily.)
First, to make the date caramel I pitted the dates and then popped them in the blender with about ⅓ cup of water, and then worked my way up to about ½ cup of water as I blended to get the desired consistency. If you want to use a little more or a little less feel free! It’s all about your personal preference, and whether you want a thicker caramel, or a more sauce-like caramel.
After you have the caramel how you like it, just add in a couple pinches of salt to taste and give it another quick whirl in the blender to fully incorporate it. And there you go– your caramel is ready.
For the chocolate, since I wanted these to truly be 5 Minute chocolate caramel cups, I went the microwave route and popped the chocolate chunks I was using into the microwave for about a minute and a half, stirring them every 15 seconds to make sure they didn’t burn, and that they heated through evenly. (You can also melt the chocolate using the double boiler method on your stove if you prefer, but it does take a bit longer!)
All that’s left to do now is assemble them, and let them cool. Easy as pie! For each cup, I spooned a little chocolate onto the bottom and spread evenly it around cup to all of the edges.
Then, I took a dollop of caramel and put it in the middle (but not to all the edges since we want it to be surrounded by the chocolate so it won’t spill out in the end!)
And last but not least, I took another spoonful of chocolate and spread it around over top of the caramel, making sure it reached all sides again. Set aside and let them chill in the fridge until the chocolate has completely hardened–
And,voilà! There you have it! You’re very own super easy, super quick, and absolutely heavenly chocolate caramel cup.
Here’s to a month filled with chocolate, love… and date caramel! (Which by the way, I fully endorse using over top of ice cream, by the spoonful, or even on toast… you know, if you have any extra and you’re just pining away for some idea of how to possibly make use of it ;) )
Abby is a recent UCSB alum and self proclaimed second-generation hippie with a passion for everything DIY, vegan snickerdoodles, and eco-friendly, sustainable living– in that order. She is happily married to all 6 ½ feet of her wonderful husband, and spends her time taking pictures and writing about about her life in tiny notebooks.