Nothing says thank you to a teacher like these Inside Out Chocolate Caramel Apples! This tasty treat is one of a kind and will have any teacher begging for the recipe!
You’ve eaten apples, right? You’ve probably even eaten an apple covered in rich and creamy caramel. If you are lucky, you’ve enjoyed a chocolate covered caramel apple. But, I am positive you’ve never had an inside out chocolate caramel apple, but you really should try one!
The idea for this recipe came to me in stages. Last week as I was making the little modeling chocolate apple that I used to decorate one of my chocolate chalkboards, I made a full size apple thinking it would also make a great teacher’s gift. It looked like a real apple and I was going to do a post about it. However, as I continued to work on my chalkboards, I decided to add a frame to one of the boards. I knew it would be easy to make the frame out of light brown modeling chocolate, so I melted some milk chocolate and went to grab my bottle of corn syrup. There in the front of the cupboard was a can of Dulce de Leche Caramel. Inspiration struck. I swapped out this caramelized sweetened condensed milk for the corn syrup in my modeling chocolate recipe and after a bit of tweaking, came up with a perfectly moldable chocolate that has a rich caramel flavor. I made the frame for my chalkboard and thought about sharing this recipe in my last post, but then inspiration struck again. I used this new caramel modeling chocolate to make an apple which I dipped in red confectionery coating/candy melts. Although it looked great, I couldn’t stop there. I really wanted this apple to taste like apple, so I flavored the red candy coating with apple flavoring and a bit of citric acid for a sour note and poured it over the caramel chocolate apple. My new creation had a hint of apple flavor and was bursting with caramel and chocolate flavors – the exact opposite of a chocolate covered caramel apple, thus the name inside out chocolate caramel apple.
I made my apples yesterday and took a lot of photographs, then my husband came home and said, “they look more like tomatoes than apples. Apples aren’t all red, they have streaks and spots of yellows and greens.” Yep, he is right. Although I think the apples look great pure red, I did try streaking on some yellow and green luster dust and thought the effect was pretty nice. I wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy the luster dusts just for this project, but it you have some on hand, by all means use it to give your apples more depth.
These apples will make nice end of the school year thank you gifts for teacher’s but would also be a fun gift to give to your doctor – you know the “apple a day” saying.
If you don’t make the apples, you should at least try to make the caramel modeling chocolate next time you need some milk chocolate modeling chocolate. I also used this recipe to make some dark caramel modeling chocolate changing the ratio of chocolate/Dulce de Leche a bit and thought it had a nice, but more subtle caramel flavor. I’ve yet to try it with white chocolate, but when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out.
Inside Out Chocolate Caramel Apples (makes 4)
Before you begin, if you aren’t experienced with making chocolate, read my tutorial regarding types of chocolate, how to melt chocolate, and troubleshooting any problems you may encounter.
14 ounces good quality milk chocolate
1 (13.4) ounce can Dulce de Leche Caramel
8 ounces red confectionery coating/candy melts
1/2 dram – 1 dram Apple Flavoring
1-3 drops green food coloring
optional: a pinch of Citric Acid
If you prefer you can use Sour Green Apple Flavor Candy Flavoring Oil instead of the apple flavoring and citric acid.
Melt milk chocolate and allow it to cool to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit. (For a detailed explanation of melting chocolate and why using melted chocolate that is too hot will result in oily modeling chocolate, read this tutorial. ) Stir in Dulce de Leche. The mixture will get very thick, but you need to make sure all of the caramel is mixed into the chocolate, so use your hands if needed. Once well mixed, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. When you unwrap the caramel modeling chocolate, knead it on the counter just until smooth about 30 seconds.
Pinch off a teaspoonful of the caramel modeling chocolate and place in a bowl. Add 1-3 drops of green food coloring and stir until well incorporated and green. Pinch off a small amount of the green colored caramel modeling chocolate and roll into a ball. Flatten and form into a leaf. Repeat to make 4 leaves (not pictured.) Pinch off about 1/2 teaspoonful of the caramel modeling chocolate and mold into a stem. Repeat to create 4 stems. Divide remaining caramel modeling chocolate into 4 balls, roll and shape into an apple. Use your finger to create an indentation on the top of each apple.
Melt red confectionery coating/candy melts. Place in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 25 seconds then stir. Heat for 20 seconds and stir vigorously. If not melted, heat for 10 second increments, stirring after each, until melted. Stir in 1/2 dram (1/2 teaspoon) of the apple flavoring and citric acid, if using. Taste it and see if you’d like it to have a stronger apple flavor. If so, add more apple flavoring. Note: If your candy coating gets thick, you can add 1/2 teaspoon -1 teaspoon vegetable oil to thin it out.
Dip the bottom of each apple in the candy coating. Smooth using an offset spatula. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes so that the candy coating hardens.
Set a wire cooling rack over a piece of parchment paper. Set caramel chocolate apple, indentation side up, on the cooling rack. Pour red candy coating over the apple. Tap the cooling rack a few times. This will help the candy coating to run down the sides of the apple. Make sure the entire apple is covered, especially around the bottom. Use a spatula to fill in any places that aren’t covered in the candy coating.
Carefully lift the apple using an offset spatula and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Immediately add the stem and leaf to the indentation in the apple. Place in freezer for 8-10 minutes until candy coating is hardened. Repeat with remaining apples. I suggest you freeze each apple as you complete it, as the red candy coating has a tendency to dry with white streaks if left at room temperature for too long. Don’t freeze the apples for too long either or they might crack, get sticky, or streak.
You can purchase boxes or cellophane bags to package your apples if you plan to give them as gifts. The apples will keep for at least one month if kept in an airtight container.
To serve, use a sharp knife to cut the apple into wedges, or just take a bite!
If you want to add embellishments to your apple, you can write a special message on the outside of the apple using a food coloring marker. You can also make some decorations out of modeling chocolate and attach them to the apple. How about a worm, or a graduation cap, or even a cute face?