It is time again for the “Secret recipe club” reveal! I am sure you all know what the club is about, but for the few of you who still don’t know about it, here goes a brief explanation. It is a great concept… each month you are assigned a participating food blogger to make a recipe from and in turn someone else will be assigned your blog. All you have to do is choose a recipe, make it and blog about it on the specified date. The only rule is to keep it a secret! If you are interested in learning more, or want to join the club, please visit the Secret recipe club website.
When I saw this month’s assignment I was super excited. The truth is I have been waiting to be paired with this site since I joined the club! Any idea of who I am talking about? I will give you a few hints: she is the queen of desserts, the chocolate expert and a lovely lady. She is beautiful inside and out and she is a very good blogger friend of mine… yesss, it’s Lizzy of That Skinny Chick Can Bake! I have known her since our days in Foodbuzz and I have always admired her talent. If you are among the few who still do not know her site, I urge you to go check it out immediately. I am sure you will love it! I immediately knew I wanted to try one of her amazing chocolate treats! Choosing only one was SO SO SO hard! I have bookmarked a few other recipes that I will definitely be making later on. For this reveal day though, I chose her Caramel Espresso Bars. The reason is simple: I love caramel, I am a chocoholic and, being Italian, I find anything with espresso way too hard to resist. And these bars were all I like in a dessert: chocolatey, gooey, sweet but not overly as the top layer is made with dark chocolate and espresso, which adds a tiny hint of bitterness! Amazing. You need to try them to understand what I mean… suffice it to say that I am salivating as I type this and my mum has already asked me to make a batch for her the next time that she and my dad will visit us!
Thank you so much for this (and all your) fantastic recipe/s Lizzy! Please, make sure you drop by Lizzy at That Skinny Chick Can Bake and check out her beautiful site!
Caramel Espresso Bars
Do you like caramel? And chocolate? Then these Caramel Espresso Bars should be on a must-eat list!
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs about 12 rectangles - (I used 250 gms Digestive cookies)
- 50 gms – ¼ cup sugar
- 170 gms – 1 ½ sticks 6 oz. butter, melted
- 120 ml – ½ cup heavy cream
- 115 gms – 1 stick 4 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 300 gms – 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 tbsp water
Espresso Chocolate Ganache Layer
- 340 gms – 2 cups 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used 72% cocoa)
- 120 ml – ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder I used 1 shot of espresso
Line a 20 cm x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) pan with some baking paper, leaving some excess on two sides, so that you can get the bars out easily when ready.
Put the graham crackers (or cookies) in a food processor and process until finely ground.
Add the melted butter and sugar and blend until well combined.
Spread the mixture into the bottom of the pan, pressing gently to form an even layer.
Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 175ºC – 350ºF for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Let it cool for about 15 minutes.
While the base is cooling, put all the caramel ingredients in a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat until the mixture is smooth.
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 115ºC – 240ºF (this will take about 5 to 7 minutes).
Carefully pour the caramel over the warm crust and let it cool for 20 minutes.
Combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second increments, stopping and stirring till the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the espresso powder (or espresso shot as I did).
Remove the pan from the freezer, and if the caramel has solidified, pour the chocolate ganache over the caramel layer. If the caramel is still soft, put it back in the freezer until hard.
Smooth the chocolate with a spatula and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or until the chocolate is firm).
Remove the pan from the freezer and cut the bars using a sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried.