By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet
I'm confused! It's edging near mid April and snow flurries are ba-a-ck--our Winter Weather Advisory is all on NOAA. One hour I'm swimming and spring cleaning both indoors and outdoors. The next hour I'm making a fire and baking coffee cake. So like is it spring or winter? At Lake Tahoe this year it's spring-wintertime. No worries. I'll go with the flow and reap the rewards of getting two seasons in one--and turn to sweet chocolate power...
Yes, I'm craving to die for dark chocolate and its healing powers: boosts brainpower to physical energy and so much more. Sure, in the house I've got a stash of unsweetened cocoa powder, semi sweet dark chocolate chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and dark chocolate ice cream. But it's not the same as the sea salt salt caramels covered in heavenly dark chocolate.
I was introduced to these unforgettable gems during my research of The Healing Powers of Chocolate. Now, I've tasted these chocolatey caramels created by many luxury chocolatiers, coming from the West Coast to Midwest. It's the East Coast that had me with the first bite to the last. Those homemade, all-natural Lake Champlain Chocolates' Sea Salt Caramels won my sophisticated chocolate palate. And now I can't get them out of my head.
In fact, after the chocolate book was released the popular chocolate company based in Vermont sent me these sea salt caramels. It was a thank you gift. And a gift indeed. The vanilla caramel is cooked in copper kettles, hand cut, and covered in dark chocolate. Sprinkled with sea salt. The result: You get to savor a salty-sweet combo taste--and end up craving them again and again.
* * *
A few months ago, I tried my hand at making these superb gourmet sea salt delights. I purchased a bag of storebought caramels. I splurged on the pricey 70% cocoa content chocolate chips. I melted the chocolate, and poured the creamy goo over the unwrapped caramels. Lastly, I put a dash of Mediterranean sea salt on each one. I popped 'em into the fridge. Thirty minutes later. They were doable, sort of, but not my fantasy sea salt caramels with sweet chocolate power.
So here I sit craving the real deal: Lake Champlain's Sea Salt Caramels. I'm looking outside at gray skies, white powder falling down. Perhaps a cup of hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream drizzled with caramel sauce and sprinkled with sea salt and/or organic raw sugar may or may not suffice. It may provide that healing lift. I guess it will be like the Rolling Stones' lyrics you can't always get what you want but you get what you need.