Coffee, Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate Caramel Slice

Well this is the third incarnation of this slice, I can't help myself, it just lends itself to so many variations! So far I have done it with dark chocolate and coconut and also with white chocolate and macadamia nuts, but this time it's all rich, dark and moody with 70% cocoa chocolate, strong coffee and hazelnuts - the perfect grown-ups' slice to have with a mid-morning espresso or as an after dinner treat. Forgive the creative license with the pics here - the domes are from Tuscany and the crown from Florence I think - they just lent themselves so well to the thundery, gloomy weather we're experiencing, but with a little golden glow about them, and I'm not quite ready to release my grip on Italy just yet...!!! (And if you happen to be reading this from somewhere warm, this slice would still be jolly good sitting on the deck with a late evening coffee, maybe on the fourth of July in the US, to watch the fireworks!)


250g butter, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup dark dutch cocoa powder 
1/2 cup whole lightly toasted hazelnuts, whizzed in the food processor until fine

1 tin sweetened condensed milk
1 tin condensed milk caramel (or dulce de leche)
60g butter, softened
1 tbsp golden syrup
2 heaped tsp strong espresso powder mixed with 1 tsp boiling water
1/2 cup lightly toasted skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped 
50g 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Line the base and sides of a 28 x 21cm slice tin with baking paper. In a big bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and soft. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa and hazelnuts and mix well. Press 3/4 of the mix into the tin and smooth firmly with the back of a tablespoon. (It will seem really crumbly, but don't worry, just press firmly). Pop in the fridge while you prepare the rest. Mix condensed milk, caramel, butter and golden syrup in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute and whisk until smooth, you may have to repeat this once to ensure the butter is melted and it is nice and smooth. Whisk in coffee mix. Refrigerate for 15 minutes  while you do the dishes! Pour caramel mix over base and sprinkle over remaining base mixture, giving it a good squish as you crumble so it forms big clumps. Sprinkle over hazelnuts and dark chocolate. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and cooked through. Cool in tin, remove and slice into squares, perfect to enjoy with strong cups of tea or coffee, or even a glass of coffee liqueur! 

A small note on the hazelnuts here - I roasted one cup until just very lightly golden (180˚C / 350˚F for about 8-10 minutes) then skinned them by rubbing them between tea towels - tedious but reasonably effective. (Don't worry if the skins don't all come off they'll be fine). Do not over brown them at this point, or when they cook in the slice they will become too brown and  bitter, so best to err on the side of very lightly golden to start with!

Labels: , , , ,