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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.

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Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

A soft sponge with a crisp crust and occasional bites of fudgy chocolatey bliss.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Author: Choclette

Ingredients

  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g light muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I used homemade)
  • 180 g flour ( I used 120g wholemeal, 60g plain)
  • 1 scant tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp mesquite powder (optional)
  • pinch of rock salt
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk or soured milk (I used kefir)
  • 50 g dark chocolate chips
  • 100 g toffees
  • 40 ml double cream

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one by one.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.
  • Add the milk and stir in gently followed by the chocolate chips.
  • Scrape the mixture into an 20cm (8") sq. silicone mould or lined cake tin and spread evenly.
  • Pour the caramel over the top and bake at 175℃ for 30 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out almost clean.
  • Leave to cool, then cut into 12 rectangular bars.

Notes

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery's Life is Sweet
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

22 Comments

  1. Cathy @ Planet Veggie

    10th October 2016 at 1:13 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      12th October 2016 at 4:29 pm

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

      Reply
  2. Lucy

    10th October 2016 at 1:20 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      12th October 2016 at 4:33 pm

      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.

      Reply
  3. Isabella

    10th October 2016 at 2:16 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:34 am

      Thanks Isabella. Your oat bars sound totally scrummy too.

      Reply
  4. Sus Davy

    10th October 2016 at 2:28 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:30 am

      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.

      Reply
  5. Dom

    10th October 2016 at 2:29 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:29 am

      Well, of course Dom, that goes without saying 😉

      Reply
  6. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    10th October 2016 at 2:33 pm

    These bars look way too tempting, Choclette. Caramel and chocolate…a dream team, isn’t it?

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:28 am

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

      Reply
  7. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

    10th October 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Yuuum. I love the look of all that caramel on top. These would be so good with salted caramel too!

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:27 am

      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!

      Reply
  8. Nico @ yumsome

    10th October 2016 at 8:10 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:26 am

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

      Reply
  9. Rachel

    10th October 2016 at 11:00 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:25 am

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

      Reply
  10. John Adams

    10th October 2016 at 11:06 pm

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

    Reply
    • Choclette

      11th October 2016 at 9:18 am

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

      Reply
  11. Sarah @ Vegan Chickpea

    12th October 2016 at 2:02 pm

    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. 🙂

    Reply
    • Choclette

      12th October 2016 at 4:23 pm

      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.

      Reply

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