Rachel Allen’s chocolate and hazelnut caramel bars are a wickedly sweet and chocolatey tray bake. Easy to make and very irresistible.
- For the chocolate base
- 200g (7oz) butter
- 50g (2oz) cocoa powder
- 300g (11oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 225g (8oz) plain flour
- For the hazelnut caramel layer
- 125g (4½ oz) butter
- 1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
- 2tbsp golden syrup
- 75g (3oz) caster sugar
- 125g (4½ oz) toasted and halved hazelnuts
- For the chocolate topping
- 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, chopped
- 1tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3) and line the base or grease a small Swiss roll tin measuring 20 x 30cm (8 x 12in).
In a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, melt the butter for the chocolate base, stir in the cocoa powder and then the sugar and mix until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs until mixed and then the plain flour. Spread the chocolate base over the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 mins until firm on top. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the hazelnut caramel layer.
In a medium-sized saucepan and over a medium heat, melt the butter and then add the condensed milk, golden syrup and sugar. Turn the heat to low and stir continuously for 12-15 mins until the mixture is dark caramel in colour – do not let it burn. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Spread evenly over the chocolate base and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water (also known as a bain marie). When it is melted, stir in the oil and then pour over the caramel layer and smooth out, leaving to cool and set. Cut into squares.These will keep for a week in an airtight container.
The recipe makes lots of bars, so freeze some of the bars for another time if you wish.