It's been a while. I feel a bit out of the swing of things, though that may have to do with the fact that I'm baking at 3 am, rather than baking at all. But still, getting into the blogging thing is hard! All this typing, and thinking.
Anyway, I’m making something called salted caramel chocolate bars, which as you can tell, involves caramel and salt. And chocolate. Sounds pretty damn awesome right? It better, because I have very high expectations at the moment; I want something easy but awesome to bake. I’m easing myself back into the strenuous world of midnight baking. And that jar of Hershey’s caramel was expensive, though come to think of it – it wouldn’t really take that much more effort to make my own and replace it in the recipe. I might do that if I make this a second time. Somebody remind me I said that.
On with the show.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars
1 ½ c flour
1 ½ c rolled oats
1 ¼ c brown sugar
200g butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
Enough chocolate chips to evenly cover the base
5 tbsp flour
16 ounces caramel sauce (I used Hershey's)
¼ tsp flakey sea salt, ground up roughly (no chunks, but not as fine as table salt)
1. Locate your mixing bowls. If you live in my house, they like to go wandering. To obscure places in the kitchen. I suspect my sister again, she’s back from Australia for a holiday.
2. Gather all your measuring cups (and drop them), and measure out the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking soda. Biff them all into the bowl and mix together.
3. The original recipe says you now need a cup of butter – what a stupid measurement, right? (I’ll measure it for you, so you don’t have to battle!)The best way to actually do this is have soft butter and smush it into the cup, then melt and pour into the mix. Not all at once though. So let’s see how this goes!
4. Unexpectedly, it works out perfectly. The dough is still very crumbly, but it’s moist and the butter covers everything.
Insert rant: Yummm. This mixture is awesome. Very Anzac biscuit-y, but with a deeper, slightly nutty flavour (from the cinnamon and brown sugar). I think I might have to play around with this; half the baking soda, add some baking powder and make some awesome biscuits.
5. Restrain yourself from eating it all, and press half the mixture into a square baking tin. Then throw it in the oven for ten minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
6. Open the jar of caramel sauce. Yell at it if you need. Swear words are acceptable, because what the hell? Those things are so hard to get into! Anyway, after you’ve done that, pour it into a smaller bowl.
7. Add the 5 tablespoons of flour, and mix away!
8. Once your base is out of the oven, let it cool for ten minutes, then spread the chocolate over top of it and then sprinkle the course salt over top (you can add more chocolate if you like). Salt seems weird right? But it’s unbelievably awesome with things like caramel and chocolate, as it brings out the flavours and provides and awesomely vivid contrast. Omnomnom.
9. Finally, sprinkle on the rest of the cake mixture stuff. Do not press it down – you can pat gently, but even that is going to make it squidg around. I could have done with a slightly bigger pan, but anything else I had was too big... so that’s what I was stuck with. Plus, it has a false bottom, so makes for easy removal later!
10. Then into the oven for twenty minutes. My tip would be to put a tray or some baking paper under the baking pan so that if any caramel does escape, it won’t get onto the bottom of your oven and become horribly stubborn and refuse to leave.
11. Leave it to cool completely before you cut into it, otherwise the caramel will just ooze everywhere.
While this tastes like a giant chocolately, gooey anzac biscuit ... thing, and is very tasty, next time I would halve the caramel. It's just all over the place! But then again, lots of caramel is yummy... so it's your own choice, I guess.