I was tossing up between the caramel slices in the new GoodFood Australia and Better Homes & Gardens magazines, but my lack of a cooking thermometer sealed the deal. (Oops, I used the BH&G recipe RoseRed!!) I know I have time to faff about with one, but people who have a real life probably don't. I have put a cooking thermometer on my birthday list!!!
The recipe calls for an Earl Grey tea bag, and though I had one, I am glad I made an executive decision and left it out. When stirring the caramel it was tricky enough avoiding the cinnamon stick and I'm still not sure the caramel doesn't have a little bark in it somewhere. I am not a vigorous stirrer, but a tea bag wouldn't have lasted five seconds, I could just see tea leaves being spread all through the caramel.
I also decided not to spend $8-75 for a whole box of sea salt flakes, I just used some coarsely ground sea salt from the pantry.I tasted the caramel and the base and it was certainly interesting, quite pleasant, but I think you need the whole slice experience with the chocolate and salt as well. I'm giving it the thumbs up!!!
The front cover is a little deceptive, what you actually make with the recipe bears only some resemblance to the photo they have used. Some careful reading inside informs you that you need to use a square pan and double the filling to make the thick caramel, so bear that in mind.
Next week I am planning some Easter cooking, so there may be a post or two extra: easy fudge, caramel easter egg slice, coconut cherry eggs, two kinds of bunny biscuits, chocolate melting moments and hot cross cupcakes.
Salted Spiced Choc-Caramel Slice makes 12-16 pieces
For the base:
- 3/4 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 120g unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
For the caramel filling:
- 50g unsalted butter cubed
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 1 tspn ground cardamom
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tspn ground cloves
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag - I omitted this
- 395g tin of sweetened condensed milk
For the topping:
- 220g good dark chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 tspn salt flakes
Preheat oven to 160*C and grease and line a 20cm round springform cake tin or a 20cm square tin.
Make the base by whizzing the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a food processor until it is combined. Or you can just rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers.
While it is cooking, make the caramel filling. Put the butter golden syrup, cinnamon stick, cardamom and cloves (and tea bag if you are using it) into a saucepan over a medium heat and stir till the butter is melted. Then boil for one minute and remove from the heat momentarily. (Discard the tea bag if you used it)
Make the chocolate topping by melting the butter and chocolate in a glass (china) bowl over some simmering water. As soon as half of the chocolate was melted, more or less, I took the pan off the stove and the residual heat finished off the melting. When the chocolate topping has cooled a little, pour it onto the caramel, spread out smoothly and then sprinkle over the salt flakes.