To end the year on a high note, I suggest chocolate dulce de leche cups. Surprisingly simple to make, you’ll feel like a character in Chocolat as you infuse the chocolate with cinnamon and chipotle chili powder before spooning it into mini baking cups. Quickly rotating each cup creates an even layer of chocolate; once the chocolate sets, pipe in silky dulce de leche and top with additional chocolate. Et voilà, a tray of gourmet chocolates!
Have I convinced you to play chocolatier for a day and make these cups for your New Year’s Eve fête? There’s no better way to send off 2013 than with chocolate and champagne. Here’s to a new year, and a gloriously blank canvas, filled with possibility!
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Cups
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Pinch of sea salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of chipotle chili powder
Preheat oven to 425°F and bring 3-4 cups water to boil in a tea kettle. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a 9-inch pie dish; stir in sea salt and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place pie dish within a large oven-safe pan and add hot water until it reaches halfway up side of the pie dish.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until brown and caramelized. Check during baking and add more hot water to the larger pan if necessary – I added additional water after 45 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes; whisk until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Line a mini muffin pan with baking cups. Combine chocolate, cinnamon, and chipotle chili powder in a double boiler or in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until glossy and smooth. (Keep chocolate over low heat while assembling cups.)
Spoon about a teaspoon of chocolate in a baking cup. Tilt and twist baking cup so chocolate coats the bottom and side in an even layer (chocolate should come 2/3 up the side), then return cup to pan. Repeat with remaining cups. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, until set.
Place cooled dulce de leche in a disposable pastry bag. Pipe dulce de leche into each chocolate cup (about 1 tablespoon per cup). Top with another spoonful of chocolate, enough to cover dulce de leche completely. Gently tap pan once to smooth chocolate. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 minutes; top with sea salt. Return to the refrigerator for another 15 minutes, until set.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Yield – 18 mini cups
Calories – 110 (per cup)
Carbs – 16
Dulce de Leche from David Lebovitz