The weather is not ready for spring yet. We visited a friend in Heidelberg this weekend and exactly Saturday morning it started snowing again. Heidelberg was beautiful but cold.
Evidence Nr. 1:
Evidence Nr. 2:
It was freezing cold and a bit windy. Walking around wasn’t much fun although it may look like it:
Since we were invited to a party, I wanted to bring some cake. In the end I didn’t even take it and we had these wonderful bars all to ourselves. They have a wonderful intense and tender chocolate shortbread bottom and a soft, buttery caramel topping, which is filled with hazelnuts and drizzled with chocolate. I cut them into bite-sized pieces because they are very rich and addictive. They are also soy-free, if you are able to find soy-free chocolate.
Chocolate-Caramel Bars with Hazelnuts (makes 25 small bars or 9 large):
For the shortbread (I used this recipe):
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F) and line a 20 x 20 com (8 x 8 inch) baking dish with parchment paper)
227 g (1 cup) margarine, cut into small pieces
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon salt
180 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
45 g (1/2 cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until a dough forms. Press into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
For the caramel topping (I used this recipe):
125 g (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) coconut oil
200 ml (4/5 cup) full fat coconut milk
200 ml (4/5 cup) oat cream (such as oatly)
2 tablespoons golden syrup (corn syrup or agave syrup will work fine)
75 g (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
200 g (1.5 cups) toasted hazelnuts
100 g (3.5 oz) bittersweet chocolate
Melt coconut oil in a medium-size saucepan. Add coconut milk, oat cream, syrup, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.. The mixture should have been reduced by less than half with a slightly gooey consistency. Stir in cinnamon and hazelnuts and pour over shortbread. Transfer to fridge and let cool until set. (about 1 hour).
Cut into squares of desired size. melt chocolate and drizzle over squares. They will keep refrigerated for 4-5 days.