Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars – Naughty But Very Nice

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

Traybakes | 10th October 2016 | By

Today is the first day of National Chocolate Week. It’s caught me completely unawares this year. I’m worried I’m losing my chocolate grip. In a panic, I’ve just had a look through my draft posts to see if I have anything suitable. Well, I sort of do, a post from 18 months ago! These caramel chocolate chip bars may not be overloaded with chocolate, but they were rather good.

Sometimes, rather too often in fact, I just want something sweet and comforting. Today was one of those days. I blame our local library which has far too many tempting cookery books. Recently, I just so happened on a new Hummingbird Bakery book, Life is Sweet. Although I generally find American recipes too sweet, even for me, I thought I’d take a look anyway.

I’m glad I did as there are lots of great ideas in the book. I do like the American penchant for traybakes and bars and there are plenty to choose from. In a hurry, I opted for the relatively easy caramel chocolate chip bars. And I was right of course, talk about sugar overload. I cut down the sugar by a 5th and they were still very sweet. But they were good and just what I needed. Soft caramel flavoured sponge with a crispy top. The caramel had sunk in patches as had the chocolate, so from time to time there were bites of gooey fudgy chocolatey bliss.

As well as cutting down on the sugar, I halved the quantities and added a bit of mesquite powder to give the caramel flavour a boost and add some nutrients. I used a mix of two thirds wholemeal to one third plain flour which worked very well.

Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
Yields 12
A soft sponge with a crisp crust and occasional bites of fudgy chocolatey bliss.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 150g unsalted butter
  2. 200g light muscovado sugar
  3. 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  5. 180g flour ( I used 120g wholemeal, 60g plain)
  6. 1 scant tsp baking powder
  7. 1 heaped tsp mesquite powder (optional)
  8. pinch of rock salt
  9. 3 tbsp buttermilk or soured milk (I used kefir)
  10. 50g dark chocolate chips
  11. 100g toffees
  12. 40ml double cream
Instructions
  1. Put the toffees and cream into a small pan over a gentle heat and leave to melt whilst getting on with the rest - an occasional stir is all that is needed. Remove as soon as you have a caramel sauce.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one by one.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
  6. Add the milk and stir in gently followed by the chocolate chips.
  7. Scrape the mixture into an 20cm (8") sq. silicone mould or lined cake tin and spread evenly.
  8. Pour the caramel over the top and bake at 175℃ for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out almost clean.
  9. Leave to cool, then cut into 12 rectangular bars.
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery's Life is Sweet
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery's Life is Sweet
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
Here’s the link to all my #NationalChocolateWeek posts for those years when I’ve been better organised than this one.

Other recipes for chocolate bars and tray bakes you might like

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Cathy @ Planet Veggie
    10th October 2016

    I didn’t know it was National Chocolate Week – what a good excuse to eat chocolate! These bars looks fab, I love caramel.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      12th October 2016

      I don’t really need an excuse to eat chocolate, but it sort of feels like a duty this week πŸ˜‰

  2. Leave a Reply

    Lucy
    10th October 2016

    Ooh how delicious, the caramel sauce made from melted toffees sounds so good. I haven’t come across mesquite powder, it sounds intriguing!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      12th October 2016

      I really like it and usually stick a bit in my chocolate cakes. It’s the ground dried pods of the mesquite tree which originates from Mexico and Peru. It tastes slightly sweet and slightly caramely and is meant to have loads of great nutritional qualities.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Isabella
    10th October 2016

    These look so very delicious, cant beat chocolate and caramel! Yum yum!! Thank you so much for linking to me πŸ™‚

  4. Leave a Reply

    Sus Davy
    10th October 2016

    Where do you get your mesquite powder, and what sort of flavour is it? These look like a fab treat for Chocolate week!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th October 2016

      Mesquite is a bit like maca, only nicer. It has quite a good caramely flavour. I get it from good health food shops. You’re bound to have one of those in Bath.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    10th October 2016

    oh good lord, how juicy do these look! So naughty but so nice. Surely it’s chocolate week every week in your house?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th October 2016

      It absolutely is Angie. These are certainly not the sort of thing to be consumed every day, but …

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th October 2016

      It would be fab with salted caramel. I made CT’s birthday cake with salted caramel, but in my usual fashion, I didn’t write down method or quantities and can no longer remember what I did – sigh!

  6. Leave a Reply

    Nico @ yumsome
    10th October 2016

    Ooh, these look rather smashing, especially with the caramel topping. They look so deliciously moist too. πŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th October 2016

      Thanks Nico. Most of the caramel sunk to the bottom, but that turned out to be rather a good thing πŸ™‚

  7. Leave a Reply

    Rachel
    10th October 2016

    These look and sound delicious! I had a real hankering for something sweet earlier and there was NOTHING in the house πŸ™

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th October 2016

      Haha, I know that feeling. That’s when I turn to quick and easy bakes like this πŸ™‚

  8. Leave a Reply

    John Adams
    10th October 2016

    Oh wow, these look amazing. My daughter has been asking if we can do some baking and these look ideal.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th October 2016

      Great idea, they’re easy to make and would go down a storm I’m sure.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Sarah @ Vegan Chickpea
    12th October 2016

    YUMMY! Your addition of mesquite powder for flavor is really clever! I wonder if I could substitute canned coconut milk for the cream and chia or flax ‘eggs’ with some applesauce for the eggs to make this vegan?! Worth a shot. πŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      12th October 2016

      Definitely worth a shot Sarah. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, although you don’t want the caramel substitute to be too wet. Let me know how you get on and I’d love to see a pic if they work.

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