© 2013 Mel IMG_5373

Dark Chocolate, Caramel and Sea Salt for World Chocolate Day

I read somewhere that yesterday was World Chocolate Day. Well, alright then, as if I needed an excuse to bake with/eat chocolate. I give you these.

Is there anything better than sea salt, dark chocolate and salted caramel?

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No?

Ya, no. There is not.

Do I want to count the number of those Lindt Sea Salt chocolate bars that I have consumed since I discovered their existence?

No.

Okay then.

Oh. Brown butter. that might enhance the combination. Okay lets do that.

You know those shortbread bars, with the caramel in the middle and the chocolate on top? These are a bit like those. But the chocolate and caramel are all together in one layer of delicious. That means one less step and less time between assembly and my mouth. Yes.

Also, my inner food geek loves these. Browning butter, AND making caramel all in one recipe. Its just all too much fun. I chose to dry caramelize sugar when I made these. In the recipe below I’ll describe a different, easier caramel making method. I’ll do a step-by step on dry caramelizing at some point. Not now. Now is just for making this deliciousness.

Okay, so for this recipe there are 2 main steps.

1. Make a brown butter shortbread base

2. Make a salted caramel ganache and pour it over the cooled base.

Okay 3…

3. Sprinkle sea salt flakes on top

 

Cute owl timer optional. Heh.

 

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Okay. here. Pouring chocolate caramel.

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*drool* ‘Nuf said. Here’s the recipe.

 

Brown Butter Shortbread with Salted Caramel Ganache

For the brown butter shortbread layer

  • 1 cup (250 g) butter, browned (see instructions below)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 2/3 cup (320 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (70 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) icing sugar

For the caramel ganache layer

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2/3 cup (160 mL) 35% cream
  • 4 Tbsp (62 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/3 (189 g) good quality dark chocolate or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • Fleur de Sel (aka Maldon) for sprinkling

To make the shortbread base:

1.Brown your butter. For a description on how to do this, see this post. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2.Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease and line a 9X9″ glass baking dish with parchment. Measure the flour, sugar, cornstarch and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk together. Add the butter and, by hand or with a pastry cutter, blend the butter until the mixture clumps together and a uniform dough forms.

3.Press the dough into the prepared pan. With a fork, make a few fork pricks in the dough (aka dock the dough). This will prevent it from bubbling and puffing up while it bakes. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until just starting to turn golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

4. Meanwhile, make the caramel ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Heat the water and sugar in a covered pan over medium high heat. Remove the lid once you hear the sugar come to a boil. The condensation from the lid with help prevent the sugar from crystalizing during the beginning stages of cooking! Cook for approximately 10-12 minutes until you have a nice caramel color.

5.Once the caramel turns a nice dark amber color, remove from the heat and VERY CAREFULLY add the cream. Stand back! It will bubble up a lot. Once it calms down, give it a stir and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then, using a spatula, slowly stir to incorporate until you have a nice, smooth ganache. Pour over the shortbread base.

6. Refrigerate and allow to set for 8 hours or overnight.  To remove from pan, run a warm, thin knife around the edges. Lift the entire thing out using the edges of the parchment. Sprinkle the top with Fleur de Sel.

7. Now, to cut the bars cleanly is tricky. Make sure they are cold, right out of the fridge. Use a good sharp knife. I also run my knife blade under hot water before cutting them to get a nice clean cut. The bars will keep, refrigerated for about 3 days.


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8 Comments

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    thought between picking up the milk and standing in the check out line.

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