Category Archives: caramel

Brownie Caramelita

What do I like love more, caramelitas or brownies?

I couldn’t decide between the chewy, caramely, oaty caramelitas (and some may say healthy, oats and pecans are known to lower cholesterol and pecans are good for flagging energy levels, I will ignore the rest of the obesity/diabetes inducing ingredients :p) and fudgy chocolatey brownies.

So I decided to combine them together to make this amazing bar.

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I prepared the caramelita biscuit and brownie mixture (I made half the amount, no nuts/fruit).

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I baked the oaty base for 10mins:

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Then covered with the brownie mixture, and baked for 20mins:

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I then smoothed the caramel on top and sprinkled the chocolate chips and pecans:

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And crumbled the remaining oaty biscuit dough on top, before baking for a further 20mins:

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Once cooled, I left it in the fridge overnight.

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Omg… These are amazing!

The thin brownie layer is just enough to give it that fudgy hit, and compliments the gooey caramel and caramelised pecans gorgeously.

New fave? Me thinks so!

Caramelitas

I follow a few American foodies on Facebook, Instagram and blogs and love the different slices/bars they make. They look really enticing with the layers of pastry/brownie/caramel/nuts/jams/cookies/cheesecake etc etc.  One of my early food memories is a Tri-Level bar my sister made after a holiday to America.

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these images were taken from the wonderful http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/

My main problem is even though there are numerous recipes out there, I find it really confusing converting cups to grams, as there are loads of different conversion tables which all come up with different results.

I visited the stall, at the Good Food Cake and Bake Show, for the Outsider Tart who have brought their yummy American baked goods to the UK.  I was able to try a few of their slices and my favourite was an oaty caramelly bar.

I later saw these on instagram and knew I had to make them.

Ingredients:
(made 24 squares)
240g/2 cups plain flour
160g/2 cups quick cooking oats (I used Quaker Oats
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon of salt
200g/1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
240g/1 cup unsalted butter
100g chocolate chips
60g chopped pecans
400ml of Caramel (I used tinned Nestle Caramel)

(recipe adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker and Roxanas Homebaking, I used Roxanas conversions from cups to grams and made a few adaptations as I went along, still not 100% happy with the conversions but it turned out well)

Method:
1)Preheat oven to 180 C and prepare tin (I used my brownie tray, which is 13.5” by 8”)

2) cream the sugar and butter, add the flour/bicarb/salt and mix, once combined add the oats  and mix until it forms a crumbly mixture

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3) cover the base of the tin with ¾ of the crumble mixture, spreading so its even and bake for 10mins

4) take out of the oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips and pecans, then pour over the caramel, and spread evenly using a spatula

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5) crumble the remaining crumble mixture over the top evenly

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6) bake in the oven for 10-15mins, til lightly browned

7) leave to cool, once at room temperature, leave in the fridge for two hours/overnight.  Cut into squares and serve (return to room temperature before serving, though if you can’t wait you can try one…or two).

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These were absolutely delicious and really easy to make.
The oaty biscuit base and topping is buttery and has a caramelly taste from the brown sugar, and the caramel/chocolate/pecan filling compliments it so well.

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Chocolate and Caramel Ombre Cake

Chocolate

Caramel

Ombre

Cake

What’s not to love?

This is a family favourite, and I felt it would make a perfect dessert for my families 25th December gathering.

Its a definite crowd pleaser; with a chocolate, vanilla, caramel and chococaramel layer, there’s something to for everyone. 

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It’s a great way to make a beautiful, impressive ombre cake without all the added food colourings. It’s also suprisingly easy to make.

The different layers are fairly easy to make and aren’t too time consuming. I don’t follow the recipe exactly; I prefer to cream the butter and sugar, whisk in the eggs and fold in the flour to give it a spongier finish.

I also find the chocolate layer to be too dense and stodgy so used this recipe (as a two egg/4 oz recipe) and adjusted the quantities for the vanilla layer (again two eggs/4 oz).

Again decorating the cake is simple, however, the caramel makes the layers really slidey, so I normally use skewers to reinforce it while ganaching.

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Unfortunately, this time my reinforcement didn’t make too much of a difference and after the car journey my cake was renamed ‘leaning tower of Pisa cake’. I didn’t get a chance (or want to) take a photograph of the finished cake, but these are ones I’ve made previously:

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Jammy Dodgers

Jammy dodgers are my favourite shop-bought biscuit… I’ve tried all the different varieties.. chocolate/custard and jam/toffee… but nothing can beat the classic raspberry jammy dodger

Theres something special about that chewy raspberry jam-like filling. I remember eating the as much of the biscuit part first and saving the jammy middle for later. MMMMmmm 🙂

 

Other jam sandwich type biscuits don’t come anywhere close (though I will happily eat them .. I’m not one to discriminate).

When I came across this recipe for Jammy Dodgers I knew I had found it, or as close to Jammy Dodger goodness as I was going to get. A raspberry caramel filled short bread biscuit; chewy juicy raspberry goodness in a buttery biscuit… irresistible!

I always felt that the shortbread biscuit in Jammy Dodgers let them down, so I decided to use a custard shortbread (taken from ‘John Whaite Bakes’):

250g plain flour, 50g custard powder, 100g caster sugar combined, then crumbled into breadcrumbs with 250g cubed butter , and kneaded until it combines. Chilled in the fridge before rolling for approx 30mins

After rolling the dough out and cutting into rounds, I used a star and heart cutter on half of the rounds to make the ‘window’, then baked until they were golden brown (approx 15-18min at 180deg).

The caramel was surprisingly easy to make, I did slightly over heat mine so it was very thick as it cooled, next time i would follow the timings advised better. It does keep very well in the fridge.

Once cooled, they were filled the caramel, if the caramel is too thick when cooled, it can be microwaved to reach the desired consistency, but be careful as it gets very hot!

The custard shortbread is sooo buttery and yummy, not too sweet, so balances out nicely with the caramel. Unfortunately, I find it does not freeze very well and I find it really crumbly when used from the freezer.

The quantities as above made about 36-40 sandwiches, with enough caramel left over the make another batch a few weeks later.  They stayed fresh and crispy for a week in an air tight container.

🙂

Caramel Hearts and Cherry Bakewell Paisleys

I love individual cakes, they look so special and dainty.

I decided to finally use these silicon moulds I bought last summer (to much protest from my siblings, quote ‘no, Maryam you are not making cake, stop making us fat’ :p).

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I’m going through a caramel phase at the moment (it’s always a caramel phase ..mmm), so decided on ‘caramel heart’ cakes.  A soft caramely sponge, topped with caramel sauce and coated with Diam bar pieces and drizzled with milk chocolate  *dribble*

I didn’t make the caramel sauce (burnt sugar…overwhelming choking fumes…bad memories) but the Waitrose sauce is AMAZING, it’s so creamy and buttery, you will eat it with a spoon!

Originally I wanted to top the caramel with a chocolate ganache, but forgot to buy cream. I think it came out better with the chocolate anyway, ganache can be very heavy, and there are two cakes to eat 😉

For the second cake I went for ‘cherry bakewell’, a soft almond sponge, with topped with cherry jam and a sprinkling of flaked almonds, drizzled with almond flavoured icing.

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I LOVE the way the paisleys came out, they look so beautiful! The hearts look alright as well… just not quite as pretty.

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I love it when something is super simple to make, yet looks like I put sooo much effort into it.

I had loads of batter left over, but felt lazy to wash the trays (it was 12am … I’m a night baker), so made them into cupcakes:

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Sponge recipe: 1)Caramel: 175g soft butter creamed with 75g dark muscavado and 150g golden caster sugar, whisk in 4 large eggs (using a spoon of flour as you add each one to avoid curdling). Sieve in 250g self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder and gently fold in. Mix in 75g natural full fat yoghurt.

2)Almond: 175g soft butter creamed with 250g golden caster sugar, whisk in 4 large eggs (using a spoon of flour as you add each one to avoid curdling). Add a few drops of Almond extract. Sieve in 175g of self raising flour, 75g ground almonds and a teaspoon of baking powder and gently fold in. Mix in 75g natural full fat yoghurt.