Be forewarned. These sea salt chocolate caramel candies are sinfully delicious!! They take 15 minutes to make from start to finish, and the recipe is super kid friendly. But I need to warn you that these “caramels” are totally addicting, but in a good way. Simply roll up the medjool dates into sticky little balls and dip them in this simple raw chocolate sauce, garnish with flakes of sea salt and chill until firm, and then you will swear you were eating a soft caramel “candy” from a fancy chocolate shop. I love having a bowl of these babies in the fridge for a tasty little burst of energy in the late afternoon or I often grab a couple to enjoy as a simple dessert. They remind me of a cross between “Rolos” and “Milk Duds” but are soooo much better. I love how these real food ingredients are in disguise as a naughty treat.
These candies are as simple to make as it gets! I think that is partially why I love them so.
Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels
3 Tablespoons raw cacao butter, cocoa butter (or coconut oil*)
6 Tablespoons cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
2 Tablespoons maple sugar crystals (or use coconut sugar, maple syrup, raw date sugar, or stevia)
16 jumbo medjool dates
1 to 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
Slice dates in half, remove pit, and roll date halves into small date balls. (Ideally you want to use big soft medjool dates often found in the produce section at grocery stores.)
If using granulated pure maple sugar, (coconut sugar or date sugar) grind it to a fine powder in a coffee grinder, this takes like 10 seconds. It is also okay to use without grinding it, but the maple sugar will make a kinda gritty chocolate, though it’s still freaking delicious!! Skip this step if you are using liquid maple syrup.
Melt cacao butter over a double boiler. I take a small sauce pan heat up an inch or two of water over medium heat in the pan, and create a double boiler by placing a small mixing bowl over the hot water. This double boiler will allow you to gently melt the cacao butter. (Note: be very careful not to let any drops of water get into the chocolate sauce or it will cause it to seize up = not good.)
When cacao butter is melted, stir in cacao powder and maple syrup. Remove from heat.
Place all 32 date balls into the chocolate sauce in the bowl. Stir date balls until they are well covered in chocolate.
Spoon each chocolate covered date ball onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle a tiny pinch of flaked sea salt over each chocolate.
Place in the fridge for an hour to firm up. Store chilled.
*Important Recipe Notes:
I have made the chocolate coating for these candies 5 different ways. My most favorite way is with cacao butter + finely ground maple sugar as this makes a firmer chocolate that is so nice to bite into!!
My second favorite method is using cacao butter + maple sugar, not finely ground. Tied for third place, I like the recipe made with cacao butter + date sugar, OR cacao butter + liquid maple syrup.
And finally the recipe totally works with coconut oil + liquid maple syrup, but the chocolate coating will be softer and melt much easier when left at room temp if you use coconut oil to make the chocolate base.