Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars have a shortbread base and topping, then layers of chocolate brownie choc chips, caramel and coconut.
Well, with this Friday being World Chocolate Day, I thought I’d post some chocolatey recipes this week – as if I need an excuse 🙂
This slice is made up of …. Ahem ….. drum roll please;
- chocolate brownie
- homemade caramel
- and choc chips.
Yes, all that it one amazing slice.
I made it a rather large so it will fee a crowd but you could certainly half the recipe and make it in an 8 inch square pan, no problem.
These Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars use my homemade caramel sauce. To save time, you can certainly just purchase ready made caramel from the shop but homemade is superb. It’s worlds above the shop bought stuff so have a go. You can make extra and store it in the fridge to use on other desserts ….. or to eat by the spoonful. It’s up to you 🙂
Seriously, this caramel should be illegal, it’s that good. It’s sweet and rich and decadent and should be in everyones lives. It’s also not as tricky to make as you’d expect. Just make sure you’re equipment is all super clean to prevent crystallization. I’ve also found that you should NOT use non-stick saucepans as it always crystallizes when I do, but a normal steel saucepan, no problems.
The combination of crumbly shortbread, soft brownie centre, chunks of chocolate and soft caramel is amazing. World Chocolate Day, here we come. Wish it was World Chocolate Caramel Day – it has a nice ring to it.
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Caramel coconut (see note 2)
- 1 1/2 cups caster (superfine or granulated) sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 113 g (1 stick / ½ cup) unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
- 3/4 cup thickened / heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups thick shredded coconut
Shortbread base & topping
- 375 g (3 1/3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 300 g (1 1/2 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 390 g plain (AP) flour, sifted
- 90 g corn flour (corn starch)
- 1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
- 75 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
- 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plain (AP) flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa - (note 1)
- Pinch of salt
- 200g chocolate chips
- Start by making the caramel (or see note 2). Place the sugar and water in a heavy based saucepan over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to the boil and stop stirring. Allow it to boil for around 7-8 minutes, without stirring. The temperature should reach 120C on a candy thermometer and it should be amber gold in colour.
- Add the butter. Whisk it in quickly until fully combined. Now add the cream (be careful as it may splatter and bubble up) and do the same until all mixed through. Allow it to boil for 3-5 minutes until thickened and glossy. It should be a deep golden brown colour. Place aside until ready to use. (See note 4)
- To make the shortbread: Preheat oven to 160C / 325F / 140C fan forced. Line a large baking tray (25x40cm) with baking paper.
- Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the combined flours and coconut in 3 lots until fully incorporated. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough with your hands until it all comes together. Cut 1 third of it and put aside to use for topping. With the remaining cookie dough, drop chunks all over the base of the baking tin, then press down until there are almost no gaps left. Bake for around 25 minutes.
- Now for the brownie mix: While the cookie base is baking, you can mix up the brownie mix.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt together in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring well between each until just melted. Pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer or you can use a handheld beater. Add the brown sugar and caster sugar and beat to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat well between each. Then add the vanilla extract and mix well. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour cocoa and salt and stir to combine. Use a spoon to gently mix the flour through the chocolate batter until combined.
- Once the base has baked, remove from oven and turn the oven up to 180C / 375F / 160C fan forced.
- Pour the brownie batter over the cooked shortbread and spread evenly. Mix the caramel with the coconut and drop in blobs all over the brownie mix. Now drop chunks of the remaining shortbread and choc chips all over the top.
- Place back in the oven for 20-25 minutes until just starting to get golden on top. You should be able to see bits of caramel and brownie poking up through the shortbread topping.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon
- You can use a store bought caramel sauce or dulce de leche to save time
- This recipe makes a very large 25x40cm (9x16 inch) slice. You can easily scale it down to suit your pan size, for instance split the recipe in half and use an 8x8 inch square pan.
- The caramel sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, so you could make a double batch and store some to use with cakes and ice cream etc.