Cucina Valentina

Cucina Valentina

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Triple Chocolate Caramel Apples - Lakeside

 Autumn at the lake is truly magnificent.  

The bustle of boats and jets skis dwindles away and tranquility pervades. Triple digits give way to eighty degree days and cool nightsMigratory birds arrive en force in search of bait fish, as do the many variety of bass that inhabit Lake Havasu

Fish frys inevitably turn into neighborhood pot lucks with everyone contributing their catch of the day, sipping cocktails and telling outrageous fish-tales - a blog yet to come as soon as we catch some fish!


For 20 years we have had this little escape on the lake, where we routinely gather with family and friends and spend most of the winter holidays.  

No matter the occasion, it's always a celebration when we are together, and what better way to celebrate autumn than with a batch of home made caramel apples?

There is something wonderful about caramel.  It is creamy, warm, smooth and sexy.  We caramelize foods to bring out their sweetness.  A splash of caramel vodka transforms any martini into a fall favorite.  If you have a candy thermometer you can make your own caramel, it's not that difficult, or you can use the wrapped candies.  The end result is the same.

I find red delicious apples to look the prettiest in pictures, while granny smith stay the firmest.

This was my first batch of apples, and, in my over-exited state, I obviously did not let them cool enough before applying the chocolate.  Everything slid to the bottom like a multicolored, incredibly delicious skirt. 

I can tell you, their sad appearance did not deter anyone from gobbling them down.  I look forward to tackling them again next year! 

As it turns out, I should've stayed in the house making my apples.  Instead we ventured out on the lake, only to break three boats in three days.  Two drives and a water pump.  Ugh, every boater knows, that's boating.  What's left to do?  Drown our sorrows on the patio with a chilled bottle of Frank Family Chardonnay.

Triple Chocolate Caramel Apples

6 firm apples, Granny Smith or Red Delicious
1 14 oz bag of caramels, unwrapped
1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 12 oz bag of milk chocolate chips
1 12 oz bag of bittersweet chocolate chips
2 T cashew milk
1/2 t vanilla extract
craft sticks or skewers

Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper or buttered parchment paper.

Microwave caramels with cashew milk in a glass bowl at 50% power - 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted.  Add vanilla and stir until smooth.

Slice the bottom 1/2" off the apples so they will stand up.  Insert stick into stem end.  Roll apples in caramel until evenly coated then place on baking sheet and refrigerate at least 15 minutes until caramel is set.

In three separate microwaveable bowls melt chocolate chips the same way.  Stir until smooth with plastic spoons.  Use spoon to artistically drizzle chocolate over cooled caramel.  Allow each chocolate to cool before adding the next.

If desired, garnish with cookie crumbs, flaky sea salt, candy sprinkles...