Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars (Caramel slice)


Date Published: Feb 1st, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 1st, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: desserts
Serves: 24 squares | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins + 1hr of cooling time

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These salted caramel bars are f*cking AMAZING. No lie. I first stumbled upon the original recipe from Nagi from RecipeTinEats about a year ago and have made it at least a dozen times since. I’ve made a few slight adjustments over time but it’s mainly similar to the original. These bars ALWAYS get rave reviews. I like to bring them to work when Toby and I start new jobs at a new clinic to make a good first impression – I should call them “First Day Caramel Bars”, ha!. Our current practice manager called them “DIVINE!” – true story. The recipe is pretty easy and straightforward, but because there are 3 layers involved, it does take a little extra time – but it’s worth it!

I’ve occasionally seen caramel bars sold back home in Canada here and there in cafés and I never thought too much of them, but since moving to Australia, I see them everywhere! They’re pretty much a staple in every Australian bakery. They’re called “caramel slices” here, something I still don’t quite understand since when I think of a slice, I think of something in a triangular form such as pie, cake or pizza, not squares 🤷🏻‍♀️. Some people in America call them “Millionaire’s Shortbread” – maybe because they’re so rich and creamy. Whatever you want to call these – bar, slice, shortbread – just know that they’re delicious AF. I’m not usually a huge fan of the ones in bakeries, but I could eat these all day.

These bars have a delicious crunchy crispy coconut shortbread base with a soft caramel centre made with condensed milk and topped with a layer of salted milk chocolate. Fair warning, they can be pretty sweet so if you’re not a huge fan of sugar, then I’d recommend cutting down the sugar in the caramel layer by a quarter or a half.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Base layer:
    • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup (45g) desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar, loosely packed (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 Tbsp molasses)
    • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • Caramel layer:
    • 125g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 Tbsp molasses)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 can (395g/14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • Chocolate layer:
    • 250g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
    • Salt flakes (for sprinkling on top)

Directions:

Make the base: Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Combine all the ingredients for the base together in a bowl (flour, coconut, brown sugar, butter). Line a baking tray (20cmx20cm or 8″x8″ – brownie pan size) with baking paper and press down the batter into the pan until evenly spread out. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180˚C or until the surface is golden brown. Remove to cool.

Make the caramel: In a saucepan over LOW-MED heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the sugar and vanilla. Whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture. Continue to stir until it comes to a simmer then add in the can of condensed milk and continue mixing until it’s a thick homogenous mixture. When it comes to a simmer again, turn off the heat and pour the mixture over the base layer. Tilt the pan to spread it evenly. Bake for 10-12mins at 180˚C until the top turns golden brown. (Note: the caramel will bubble in the oven – this is normal.) Take it out of the oven and set aside until the surface is cooled (you can put it in the fridge to help it along).

Make the chocolate: Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between until you get a smooth melted chocolate spread. Pour this over the cooled caramel layer and tilt the pan until evenly spread. Refrigerate for half an hour and sprinkle salt over the top layer when the chocolate is nearly set. Then continue to refrigerate for another half hour or overnight until ready to serve. Cut into squares and enjoy!

*Tip: If you sprinkle the salt too early when the chocolate is still warm or liquid, the salt will dissolve. If you sprinkle the salt too late after the chocolate has set, the salt won’t stick.

Cut into squares and enjoy! Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars (Caramel Slice)

Date Published: Feb 1st, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 1st, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: desserts
Serves: 24 squares | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins + 1hr of cooling time

Ingredients:

  • Base layer:
    • 125g unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup (45g) desiccated coconut
    • 1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar, loosely packed (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 Tbsp molasses)
  • Caramel layer:
    • 125g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 Tbsp molasses)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 can (395g/14oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • Chocolate layer:
    • 250g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
    • Salt flakes (for sprinkling on top)

Directions:

  1. Make the base:
    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Mix all the ingredients for the base together in a bowl (melted butter, flour, coconut, brown sugar).
    2. Line a baking tray (20cmx20cm or 8″x8″ – brownie pan size) with baking paper and press down the batter into the pan until evenly spread out.
    3. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180˚C or until the surface is golden brown. Remove to cool.
  2. Make the caramel:
    1. In a saucepan over LOW-MED heat, melt the butter.
    2. Once the butter is melted, add in the sugar and vanilla. Whisk until it becomes a homogenous mixture.
    3. Continue to stir until it comes to a simmer then add in the can of condensed milk and continue mixing until it’s a thick homogenous mixture.
    4. When it comes to a simmer again, turn off the heat and pour the mixture over the base layer. Tilt the pan to spread it evenly.
    5. Bake for 10-12mins at 180˚C until the top turns golden brown. (Note: the caramel will bubble in the oven – this is normal.) Take it out of the oven and set aside until the surface is cooled (you can put it in the fridge to help it along).
  3. Make the chocolate:
    1. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring in between until you get a smooth melted chocolate spread.
    2. Pour this over the cooled caramel layer and tilt the pan until evenly spread.
    3. Refrigerate for half an hour and sprinkle salt over the top layer when the chocolate is nearly set. Then continue to refrigerate for another half hour or overnight until ready to serve.
      • *Tip: If you sprinkle the salt too early when the chocolate is still warm or liquid, the salt will dissolve. If you sprinkle the salt too late after the chocolate has set, the salt won’t stick.
    4. Cut into squares and enjoy!

3 thoughts on “Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars (Caramel slice)

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