The one thing you must know when speaking to people in the chocolate trade is that there’s a big difference between a chocolate maker and a chocolatier. A chocolate maker is someone who turns a raw, astringent and bitter cocoa bean into that velvety, buttery and infinitely flavourful delicacy most of us can’t imagine living without. A chocolatier, on the other hand, takes the chocolate maker’s alchemy a step further by turning it into a bar of chocolate, a bonbon, a bunny, or quite simply a work of art. On a recent exploration of Pretoria’s artisanal scene, the name Jackrabbit Chocolate Studio kept coming up, so I decided to check it out. And what a discovery it was! Stephanie Ceronio’s chocolate work is so exciting that I asked her to develop a recipe for me that I could share with you. And the result? Exactly the right balance of luxurious gooey-ness that I like in a guilty pleasure.
Although this caramel has been infused with cinnamon, you can flavour it with anything your heart desires, like orange peel, chilli, or even lavender flowers (when they’re in season). If you’d like to make something more boozy, you can add a liqueur of you choice (30 – 50 g), remembering to reduce the amount of cream you use by the same amount. Adding 50 g of liqueur, for instance, means you will use 150 g of cream.
150 g dark brown sugar
115 g glucose liquid (can be omitted)
200 g heavy cream
130 g butter
1.5 g sea salt
80 g condensed milk
2 cinnamon sticks
Boil the cream, condensed milk, cinnamon and salt to allow the cinnamon to infuse the cream. Once infused to taste, remove the cinnamon sticks and set aside.
In another pot, melt the brown sugar and glucose to make a dry caramel.
Deglaze with the warm cream. Once your mixture has come together, add the butter and stir. Cook until the mixture reaches an almost a fudgey consistency. (Should you wish to make a pouring sauce, you can stop cooking as soon as the butter has melted. Otherwise, continue cooking until you get the consistency you desire. To get a chewy caramel, cook it longer for about 15 minutes).
Take off the heat and add the salt, and if you like, some vanilla.