Chilled chocolate fondant with salted butter caramel sauce

7 of our favourite recipes for salted caramel

by Great British Chefs 21 September 2022

Salted caramel has become a staple on dessert menus over the last ten years. It's delicious with chocolate, swirled into ice cream or drizzled over coffee. Here's our collection of our favourite ways to eat salted caramel, from indulgent truffles to elegant tartlets.

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Salted caramel is such a familiar combination now it’s hard to imagine a time when it seemed strange. The popularity of salted caramel can be traced back to 1977, and Henri Le Roux, a pastry chef from Brittany. Looking for a way to distinguish his sweet shop from the competition, Le Roux added some of the region’s famous salted butter to his caramels. The idea of combining salt and caramel eventually spread to America, where pastry chefs moved away from salted butter and instead began sprinkling salt directly onto dishes, and adding salt directly into caramel. In the early 2000s the image of a salt-sprinkled dessert took American diners by surprise, and dishes like Claudia Fleming’s salted chocolate caramel tartlets quickly became cult favourites.

In 2022, by contrast, salted caramel rivals vanilla as one of the most popular flavours of sweets and desserts, and while salted caramel may no longer surprise diners, it undoubtedly still delights them. If you want to try making your own salted caramel desserts at home, check out our suggestions below. However, if you’d like the flavour without the fuss, our dessert month sponsors Pots & Co’s range of ready made salty-sweet treats can help. 

Pots & Co make a range of puddings using the highest quality ingredients. Their decadent salted caramel and chocolate ganache - alongside all their other products - are handmade in their London kitchen. This classic dessert is also available in a vegan version, which uses an oat base to accentuate the flavour of the chocolatey caramel. Pots & Co are dedicated to using the highest quality ingredients in all their products, including Cornish sea salt and sustainably crafted, single origin Colombian cocoa.

Dark chocolate delice with coffee ice cream

This recipe for a dark chocolate delice with salted caramel, coffee ice cream and a cocoa tuile is an absolute showstopper. The delice has an almost mousse-like texture and the salted caramel is made the traditional way with plenty of salted butter. Although this recipe requires some special kit - an ice cream maker and a mould - it can be made without any special ingredients. In fact, you probably already have everything you need to make this spectacular dessert at home!

Salted caramel tart with praline macarons, praline cream and ginger and vanilla ice cream

Phil Howard’s salted caramel tart is reminiscent of a Portuguese pastéis de nata, with a rich egg custard filling. The recipe is for a very large, 30cm tart pan - the filling requires an impressive 270g of egg yolk and an entire litre of double cream - but it’s great if you’re feeding a crowd. The salted caramel is first infused with Madeira, before being incorporated into the egg custard base. Chef Howard serves the tart with a praline macaron and a ginger and vanilla ice cream, but it would also go well with a simpler accompaniment of slightly sweetened, softly whipped double cream.

Chilled chocolate fondant with salted butter caramel sauce

This chilled, chocolate fondant with salted butter caramel sauce is garnished with a praline tuile and roasted hazelnuts. Chef Simon Hulstone of The Elephant in Torquay developed the dish to be served to those travelling first class in British Airways during the London 2012 olympics. The praline garnish requires some specialist ingredients - praline and pâte à feuillantine - but this can be omitted.

Warm molten chocolate and salted caramel tart with milk ice cream

These warm, molten chocolate and salted caramel tartlets by Robert Chambers are served with milk ice cream. Unlike molten chocolate lava cakes, which are typically filled with a fondant, Chef Chambers’ molten chocolate tartlets are filled with a chocolate mousse. The mousse is then piped over set salted caramel, for a wonderfully light, jiggly texture. The milk ice cream layers three different types of dairy – homemade evaporated milk, condensed milk and double cream. The recipe makes a lot, but it goes beautifully with almost any dessert.

Salted caramel and peanut truffles

These peanut butter salted caramel truffles are perfect for anyone who can’t get enough of peanut butter and chocolate. Copious amounts of peanut butter are whisked into the salted caramel while it’s hot, then the mixture is allowed to set overnight. Once set, the caramel and peanut butter mixture is rolled into balls, and dipped in a generous amount of melted chocolate, and more chopped peanuts. The truffles can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, but will need fifteen minutes at room temperature to warm up.

Sea-salted caramel tart with Javanese milk chocolate

This exceptional salted caramel chocolate cream tart is the perfect end to a romantic date-night meal. Paul A Young specifically recommends making this tart with Javanese chocolate, which has a naturally caramel-like flavour. Although Indonesia is not the first country most people think of when it comes to chocolate, it is actually the third largest producer of cocoa in the world. If you can’t get hold of Javanese chocolate, any 40% milk chocolate will also work.

Miso caramel ice cream

This miso caramel ice cream recipe by Adam Simmonds balances out the sweetness of the caramelised custard base by infusing it with a little bit of white miso. White miso brings a funky savouriness to desserts that is more complex than simply adding salt, but not overpowering. Chef Simmonds also boosts the salty-sweet flavours of the ice cream by serving it with a savoury, salted-cashew and cacao nib granola. If you only have red miso to hand, use slightly less of it as darker misos tend to be saltier and funkier than light ones.