Monday, January 23, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Squares

Another day, another new recipe from Chocolate (Practical Cooking).

I attended a Tea on Sunday (why did the Patriots have to schedule a home game smack in the middle of our Tea?!?).  I usually bring two items, one savory and one sweet.  The Chocolate Caramel Squares looked like a good candidate for the latter.  The recipe makes a small batch, which was perfect for this event.

Still working on my food photography skills
The book described these bars as having a crunchy oat layer.  I think that was a small understatement.  The word they were searching for was brickbat.  It was incredibly tough to cut these into bars.  I'm glad I followed their tip and lined the pan with parchment paper.  It was easy to lift the whole thing out and cut them on a cutting board.

I don't think I overcooked it, and used butter instead of margarine.  Hmmm... now reading over the recipe, I wonder if they intended that I used tub margarine?  I wonder if that would have made the middle layer a little softer?

Regardless, I have a sneaking suspicion they cut their bars with a hot knife or while the chocolate was still soft, because my photo don't look like the one in book.  My color isn't quite as golden brown as in the book.  And their chocolate layer looks a little thicker and softer -- like they added cream or butter to the chocolate.

Well, they may have been hard to cut, but they were easy to bite into. And they may not have looked as pretty as the cookbook photos, but they were delicious:  sweet, crunchy and gooey all at once.

And because I know you're dying to try these yourself:

Chocolate Caramel Squares

generous 1/3 cup soft margarine
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp light brown sugar
generous 3/4 cup condensed milk

3.5 oz dark chocolate
1 oz white chocolate (optional)

Beat together the margarine and brown sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in the flour and the rolled oats.  Use your fingertips to bring the mixture together, if necessary.

Press oat mixture into the bottom of an 8" pan.  Bake at 350F for 25 minutes or until golden and firm.  Cool in the pan.

Place butter, brown sugar and condensed milk in a pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients combine.  Bring slowly to a boil over very low heat, then boil very gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Pour caramel over the oat layer and allow to set.

Melt the chocolate and spread it over the caramel.  If using the white chocolate, melt it and pip lines of white over the dark.  Using a toothpick , feather the white chocolate into the dark chocolate.  Allow to set.  Cut into squares and serve.

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