Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chocolate-Caramel Slice

Or Millionaire's Shortbread, according to my hubby.  Either way, this stuff is dangerous to have around.  In keeping with my chocolate-caramel-sea salt theme from yesterday, I have another equally addictive recipe.  My mom sent me this one earlier in the summer and it was love at first click.  Rich, buttery shortbread topped with a thick layer of sweet caramel and finished with a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate, these bars pretty much represent all that I love about baking and sweets.  
 
Some reviews complained that these were too sweet but I think cut into small bites with a flourish of sea salt on top, they are the perfect treat.  I am quickly stockpiling ideas for Christmas and this one will probably make the list too!  I found it very helpful to cut these while they are still cold in order to get nice clean lines.  I may also try lining the pan with foil next time so I can lift them out before cutting. 
 
Chocolate-Caramel Slice
makes 20-24 pieces (I would aim for 24-28)

Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon ice water
1 large egg yolk

Toppings
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons golden syrup (such as Lyle's Golden Syrup) or dark corn syrup (I used dark corn syrup but apparently Lyle's can be found at World Market)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons whipping cream
Flaked sea salt

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 11x7x2-inch metal baking pan. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until coarse meal forms. Add 1 tablespoon ice water and egg yolk. Blend until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom of pan; pierce all over with fork. Bake until golden, piercing if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. 
 
For toppings:
Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, butter melts, and mixture comes to boil. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Boil gently until caramel is thick and temperature registers 225°F, whisking constantly, about 6 minutes (took me longer, just keep an eye on the thermometer). Pour caramel evenly over crust; cool 15 minutes to set.
 
Meanwhile, melt chocolate with cream in microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring occasionally. Spread chocolate over warm caramel; sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.  (I also froze these and they thawed perfectly).
Cut dessert lengthwise into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 5 or 6 (or 7) slices. Transfer to platter and serve.

The only complaint I had about this recipe is that my chocolate didn't turn out very smooth.  In the past I have added a teaspoon or so of shortening and this helps make the chocolate shiny and smooth so I might try that next time.  
 

Enjoy!


7 comments:

  1. Lucy, these look simply fabulous - decadent! Thanks for sharing. We need to find an excuse to make them when we have company or take somewhere, otherwise we'd eat them all!!

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  2. You've been making some good sweets lately! I'm so intimidated by making candy. I think it's the whole candy thermometer thing lol.

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  3. @Denise, yes they would be perfect for a party - or just keep them in the freezer and pull out one at a time (that's what I had to do!)

    @Stacy, you should try it, the only thing I have found is for me a lot of recipes take longer than what is listed to get to the correct temp - when Christmas gets closer (yes I am talking about it already!) we can get together and make caramels - it's fun!

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