Whenever the mood for something decadent strikes, these dark chocolate caramel bars are the cure. The first layer is a rich, buttery shortbread, studded with flaked coconut. The second, a decadent easy-to-make homemade caramel, topped with dark chocolate and sprinkled with flaky Maldon salt. The whole of this dessert is more than the sum of its parts - all together, these bars are amazing! For more, head on over to Fleur de Sel.
Dark Chocolate Caramel Bars
|For the base:||1 c. all-purpose flour|
|1 teaspoon baking powder||1 c. flaked coconut|
|1/2 c. granulated sugar||1/2 c. (1 stick) + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted|
|For the filling:||7 tablespoons unsalted butter|
|1/2 c. brown sugar||14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk|
|2 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup||1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|For the topping:||10 oz. good quality dark chocolate|
|1 teaspoon flaked sea salt, such as Maldon sea salt|
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a half sheet pan or 7 x 11 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add the coconut, sugar and melted butter and stir together well. Press firmly into the base of the pan and bake for 12 minutes or until light golden.
To make the filling, put the butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, golden syrup and vanilla in a saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until light golden. Pour evenly over the cooked base, then return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Once the caramel is cool, put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted (or melt the chocolate very carefully in a microwave). Spread the chocolate evenly over the caramel. Once the chocolate has set, sprinkle with sea salt and cut into squares.