Sweet and Gooey Caramel Desserts for Valentine's Day

2008_12_19-Caramel.jpg2008_12_19-Caramel02.jpgWhy does chocolate get all the attention on Valentine's? As much as we love chocolate, we find caramel desserts even more appealing right now. Maybe it's the interesting burnt sugar tastes or the chewy, gooey textures, but we're thinking caramel for Valentine's.

Here are a dozen ideas for caramel Valentines, including smooth and chewy candies, a hot burnt-sugar sauce, a caramel espresso float, light and airy mousse, and more.

  1. Caramel-Cloaked Chocolate-Hazelnut Torte - A caramel-drenched double hazelnut cake. So special!
  2. Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares - Creamy, milky caramel cheesecake, with just a bit of chocolate
  3. Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce - Good for a lot more than Christmas presents! Keep a jar or two for yourself, to pour over dessert on Valentine's.
  4. Salt Caramels - Salty caramels are all the rage; get in on it with these chewy, easy candies.
  5. Pineapple Satays with Coconut Caramel - A slightly lighter, healthier way to get your caramel fix, with caramelized coconut milk.
  6. Caramel Risotto - This recipe is a little tricky, but diehard rice pudding lovers will flip for its dark flavor and tender rice.
  7. Caramel Apple Steamed Pudding - Caramel and apples go naturally together, and this steamed pudding is old-fashioned and romantic.
  8. Caramel Espresso Float - Wow! Coffee, caramel, and chocolate: decadence in a glass.
  9. Amour Caramel Hearts - A trickier project but oh so beautiful.
  10. Salted Butter Caramel and Milk Chocolate Mousse - At Nami-Nami -- so pretty and not too hard.
  11. Caramel Brownies - If you just have to have your chocolate, here's brownies with a healthy dose of caramel.
  12. Caramel Banana Cake - An incredibly moist, tender cake full of banana.

(Images: James Carrier for Sunset Magazine; Mikkel Vang for Gourmet; Martha Stewart; Faith Durand; Annabelle Breakey for Sunset Magazine; Faith Durand; Martha Stewart; Romulo Yanes for Gourmet; Just One Plate; Nami-Nami; Christina Schmidhofer for Sunset Magazine; Faith Durand)