Chocolate covered caramel, nuts and shortbread bars
I decided to go for the more homemade style and left the food coloring on the shelf. Of course you can use different types of chocolate for covering, milk in my opinion is the most suitable because it is sweet enough to balance the salted nuts.
200g butter, softened
300g all-purpose flour
10g Fleur-de-Sel or 5g salt
Salted caramel cream:
150g heavy whipping cream
10g vanilla beans (optional)
150g butter in room temp’ (cut to small cubes)
5g Kosher salt
100g salted roasted peanuts
100g salted roasted pecans
600g milk chocolate drops, or chopped
1. Shortbread: Line a 25-cm square pan with parchment paper.
2. Beat soft butter and sugar until light and smooth.
3. Add flour and salt, beat until mostly combined, knead lightly if required.
4. Transfer the dough into the pan and press to obtain a smooth surface (don’t press too hard).
5. Mark on the dough desired shape (2.5cmX10cm bars) and prick all over with a fork. Refrigerate for two hours.
6. Bake in a preheated oven to 180c for about 20-25 minutes until the dough stabilizes and turns slightly golden.
7. Cool to room temperature, using a knife separate the pre-marked shortbread bars.
8. Caramel: In a medium heavy-duty saucepan heat sugar, until it melts into a brown amber-colored liquid.
9. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the cream and vanilla until simmering.
10. After the sugar turned into caramel, pour the boiling cream into the caramel pot through a sieve. Attention! The caramel bubbles and rises to the top. It is best to remove the pot from the heat source for a few seconds, so that the caramel does not slide. Return to the heat source for a few seconds while stirring until a smooth cream is obtained.
11. Remove from heat, add butter and salt and stir until smooth. For a very smooth caramel cream it is recommended to grind with a blender rod.
12. Refrigerate until the caramel cream is firm but still easy to pipe. Transfer to a pastry bag.
13. Pipe a generous strip of caramel cream on each shortbread bar.
14. Place peanuts or pecans on the caramel, literally stick them to the caramel and shape into a bar. Put in the freezer for two hours.
15. Remove the bars from the freezer and place on a cooling rack under which parchment paper is placed.
16. Melt 400 g chocolate over a Bain-Marie or in the microwave oven. Remove from the double boiler and add the remaining chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is smooth.
17. Pour the chocolate over the bars so that the entire surface of the bar and the sides are hermetically coated.
18. Place each bar on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for twenty minutes. It is best served at room temperature.