Monday, 1 October 2012

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars

This post is coming at a good time. I literally just finished my first big assignment of the year and decided I would reward myself by rewarding you all with a blog post :)! I am pretty sad that I haven't been able to update as frequently as normal, but it doesn't mean I haven't been making tons of food!

The boyfriend and I are actually gearing up to cook our first Thanksgiving dinner this weekend. Since we're both away from home, we figured we'd host a dinner for some of our friends who stayed here for the holidays as well, plus it'll give us a chance to practice our party-hosting skills! The boyfriend is starting to feel the pressure of being responsible for everyone's meal (I'm letting him cook the bird!) but he did order a 15lb turkey (:S) so we'll see how that turns out! I'm staying positive and hopeful!

I made these squares a couple weeks ago and they turned out okay, but not as well as I'd hoped. Not because they weren't delicious (which they were) but the caramel layer wasn't as gooey-delicious as I was hoping for. I blame it on the fact that I didn't have a candy thermometer. I attempted to use the ol' soft-ball technique (I've never been a fan, it's too imprecise) and needless to say, I'm pretty sure I let it boil too long.

They still tasted yummy, so I'll post the recipe here and then you can let me know how your's turn out! Maybe a candy thermometer will make the difference for you?

Older Posts: Lime Sorbet

Coffee-Spiked Chocolate Caramel Bars
Prep Time: ~1 hour        Yields 25-30 bars

12 graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee, finely ground
1 tsp sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Spray the paper and the sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2) In a food processor, combine graham crackers and sugar until completely blended. Add melted butter and blend until crumbs begin clumping together.
3) Press mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

1) In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine cream, butter, and sugar. Stir until smooth. Bring to a boil, and cook without stirring until candy thermometer reaches 240 F.
2) Pour caramel over crumb crust and let cool for 20 minutes. Place in the freezer for an additional 10 minutes.

1) In a microwave safe bowl, place chocolate chips and heavy cream.
2) Microwave on high for 30 second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and smooth.
3) Add the instant coffee and stir until completely combined. Remove pan from freezer and pour ganache over top of caramel layer. Smooth with a spatula and sprinkle with sea salt.
4) Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into bars, and enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from Satisfy My Sweet Tooth)

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