For the caramel sauce:
2/3 cup water
2/3 cups sugar
1 & 1/3 cups heavy cream (2:1 ratio of heavy cream:sugar)
1 vanilla bean
1 orange zest
Pinch of salt
*Extra flavorings can be added like toasted coconut
For the Ganache:
1/2 of the caramel sauce
8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips 61% cocoa
1. Start off by adding water to pot (a pot bigger than you might think you'll need). Then add your sugar to water - consistency should be like wet sand (very important!). Place pot over high heat and cook, without disturbing until it begins to color.
2. When the caramel has reached the right tawny color, take pot off the heat and slowly add your 2 cups of heavy cream (at this point, the cream will immediately boil as the caramel is at a very high temperature. Step away from the pot and be very careful of the hot steam being created). Whisk until everything is combined. if you're making a thicker sauce (less cream) and there are lumps of caramel in the pot, put pot over a low flame and stir until the caramel melts/dissolves and everything is homogenous.
3. If you've added a solid flavoring component, strain the caramel into a heat proof container to remove the flavoring (vanilla beans, toasted coconut, etc.) Allow to cool and use as desired.
Directions for the Ganache:
1. Take half of the hot caramel sauce and pour it into a bowl containing 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate.
2. Use a hand emulsifier (hand blender) and blend the hot caramel and chocolate together.