For the homemade dark chocolate:
- 2.8 ounces cacao butter (approximately 1/2 cup discs or small chunks)
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
For the filling:
- 1/2 batch pumpkin spice caramel, cooled slightly (see below for recipe)
For the garnish:
- Large-flake sea salt (optional)
- 5 parchment cupcake liners
1. Make the dark chocolate by melting the cacao butter in a double-boiler or bain marie over medium heat. Once it’s melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder and maple syrup until smooth.
2. Line a muffin tin with 5 cupcake liners. Pour 1 tablespoon of the dark chocolate into the bottom of each muffin liner and carefully rotate the pan around and around to coat the sides of the muffin liners with the chocolate. You want the chocolate to go up about 1/2 an inch on all sides of each liner. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes to set.
3. Drop 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin spice caramel into the center of the chocolate cups and carefully spread out to the sides of each cup. If you want to keep the cups neat and tidy, return the pan to the freezer for 10 minutes to set before moving on to the next step.
4. Top each layer of caramel with a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate, using up all of the chocolate. If needed, drop the pan on a hard surface a few times to smooth out the chocolate.
5. If desired, garnish with large-flake sea salt.
6. Return to freezer for 10 minutes to set. Store in refrigerator.
For the pumpkin spice caramel:
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup natural creamy almond butter
- 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (depending on how much you want to flavor the caramel)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. In a small saucepan, vigorously whisk together the pure maple syrup, almond butter, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt over medium-low heat until smooth, glossy, and slightly thickened (approximately 3 minutes). Remove from heat and enjoy as is or let cool to thicken.
2. Refrigerate leftovers. As the caramel cools, it becomes even thicker. Reheat in a saucepan or enjoy as is.