OTTUMWA — Not everyone wants to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. There are some people who don't believe in the Easter Bunny. But there are very few who will turn up their noses at the combination of chocolate and caramel.
Wednesday is National Chocolate Caramel Day, and while it's not a holiday the greeting card companies have picked up on yet, it's one that's gaining popularity across the country. And rightly so.
Smooth chocolate and creamy caramel go together in such a decadent way. Individually, they're amazing flavors, but when you combine them, they become an indulgent treat. They're also both versatile ingredients, so there are endless ways to mix them and create the perfect dessert.
Here are a couple of quick and easy recipes to combine these classic flavors. The first one will take a few hours because it takes time to chill, and you may want to make your own cake instead of buying one pre-made. The other is great for a quick snack or gift because it takes very few ingredients and very little time to put together.
Chocolate Caramel Turtle Trifle
• Chocolate cake (pre-made or make your own)
• 30 caramels, unwrapped
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1-1 1/2 cups miniature chocolate chips
• 1-1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted peanuts
1. Add caramels and heavy whipping cream to a large bowl. Microwave for about two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until the caramels dissolve into the cream. Stir until smooth. Chill until completely cooled, which could take between two and three hours.
2. If making your own cake, bake now according to the package directions. If using a pre-made cake, skip to step 3.
3. Once the cake is cooled, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
4. Remove the caramel mixture from the refrigerator. Using a hand-held mixer, whip the caramel until it is spreadable, like frosting, which will take about three minutes.