Friday, May 6, 2011

Vanilla Salt

This is a story of an impulse 'lets go with it' purchase.

Now some time later, hoping the balance of vanilla and salt flakes is intact, I really have very good intentions of using said Vanilla Salt.
In something. Or on something.
I'm just not sure what yet - but I think it should involve caramel.

Salted caramel is one of those luscious things like a good lemon tart. It has the power to cajole or compell the ordering of deserts or the purchase of macarons and such when I feel otherwise quite happily sated.

But the balance and texture and pairing has to be just right or it could be just as disapointing as a poor lemon tart (you know the ones that are just a bit too eggy or too sweet or have caky or downright ordinary pastry).

I'm thinking a good caramel slice with salted caramel and finished with a few flakes atop the chocolate might be the go. Having been searching for the holy grail of caramel slice recipes I have options a plenty: the best to date being roughly based on that in Bill's Holiday with a few tweaks (hoping I can remember which techniques and which caramel were king) closely challenged by a heady slice from the CSR packet (thanks to Hilary).

This is the CSR recipe. Not keen on the oil with chocolate though ...

Caramel Slice (CSR packet)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
125 g butter
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 (400 g) can sweetened condensed milk
70 g macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon golden syrup
60 g butter
200 g dark chocolate
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
• Preheat oven to 180C conventional or 160C fan forced.
• Melt 125g butter and combine the flour, coconut and dark brown sugar.
• Press into baking paper lined 26cm x 16cm slice pan.
• Bake for 12-15 mins or until golden brown.
• Heat the 60g butter and golden syrup in a saucepan until butter has melted and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes.
• Add condensed milk and stir over a medium heat for a further 10 minutes or until caramel becomes golden brown in colour.
• Pour over the prepared base.
• Chop macadamia nuts, sprinkle over caramel and drizzle with extra golden syrup.
• Melt chocolate and oil over simmering water and stir until smooth.
• Spread over the cooled caramel and refrigerate to set before slicing.
• For ease heat the knife in hot water before slicing.

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