Monday, September 27, 2010

Salt Caramel Ganache Bars

So, I didn't make it to the next round of Project Food Blog, but the competition was fierce. I wish good luck to everyone still in it and in the mean time I have just the sweet treat to cheer me up! They are crisp on the bottom and a gooey chocolate mess on top, with just a hint of salty sophistication. These bars were inspired by a recent trip to a local bakery and lunch spot. Where they were giving away samples of some chocolaty-caramel goodness, I took one bite and thought I must make these. Well my version was a little bit messier (ok a lot), but equally as sinful and delicious. Stock up on butter, and bake up some Salt Caramel Ganache Bars.



Shortbread Crust:
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 sticks of butter, cold

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into chunks and toss in the flour mixture. Rub the butter into the flour until it is incorporates and a dough forms (this could also be done in a food processor). Line a 7" by 11" baking dish with tin foil or wax paper, this will make it easier to remove the bars. Grease all sides of the dish/dish cover. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake until the crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, before topping with the ganache.



Ganache Topping:
4 oz of semisweet chocolate
4 oz of bittersweet
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 tsp of salt

In a small sauce pan bring the heavy cream and salt to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Break the chocolate into pieces in a medium bowl. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 5 minutes. Stir until all the chocolate is all incorporated and mixture is smooth. Let stand 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate over the shortbread crust. Cool on the counter until the ganache is firm, about 2 hours.



Salt Caramel Sauce:
1 cup of sugar
6 tbsp of unsalted butter
1 tsp of coarse sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of water

In a small sauce pan, over medium-high heat melt the butter, add the sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Add in heavy cream and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens and is a rich caramel color, stirring frequently. If the caramel looks too thick, add the water, more if necessary. It should be sauce like in consistency. Very carefully (this stuff is hot) drizzle the caramel over the ganache bars. Top with a little extra sea salt, if desired. Let cool, remove bars from dish, using the edges of the foil or wax paper. With a very sharp knife, cut 3 rows down and 4 rows across. Serve and enjoy.

Happy Eating.


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6 comments:

  1. Wowsers...those look incredible. I bet they'd be great for a party! :)

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  2. Lindsay, a treat like that would surely cheer me up! Sorry you didn't make the next round :(
    Would you eat one of those for my sorrow too?
    http://thejoyofcaking.wordpress.com

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  3. Everything about these sounds fantastic! I love a hint of salt in sweets. Yum!

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  4. chocolate + salt + caramel = heaven

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  5. wow that looks incredible. I love everything chocolate and salty!

    Seriously Soupy

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