The lovely Rachel Allen was making these bars on her show and they just looked so delish I had to make them to wow my family at Xmas. So, naturally, when under pressure, the whole things failed b/c I didn't think it through.
For the chocolate base
200g/7oz butter -> used shortening
50g/2oz cocoa powder
300g/11oz caster sugar
2 free range eggs, beaten -> replaced by 1 banana and a pinch of baking powder
225g/8oz plain flour
For the hazelnut caramel layer
125g/4½oz butter -> used shortening
1 x 397g/14oz tin condensed milk -> I tried to condense soy milk as was suggested somewhere else on this comm, but it failed horribly, I ended up using soy milk w/ some arrow root
2 tbsp golden syrup
75g/3oz caster sugar
125g/4½oz toasted and halved hazelnuts
For the chocolate topping
200g/7oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
General change: I mostly used normal cane sugar rather than castor sugar, which may be half of what went wrong.
Oven 160C/325F, Swiss roll tin measuring 20x30cm/8x12in.
1. In a medium sized saucepan over a medium heat, heat the butter for the chocolate base, stir in the cocoa powder and then the sugar and mix until smooth.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs until mixed and then the plain flour.
3. Spread the chocolate base over the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until firm on top.
4. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the hazelnut caramel layer.
5. In a medium-sized saucepan 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 minutes until the mixture is dark caramel in colour (do not let it burn).
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Spread evenly over the chocolate base and allow to cool.
7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water. When it is melted, stir in the oil and then pour over the caramel layer and smooth out, leaving to cool and set.
8. To serve, cut into squares. These will keep for a week in an airtight container.
Source: Rachel Allen from the BBC.
BTW for those who don't know this yet: you must check out this food-website, there's a whole section on vegetarian & vegan cooking. I don't know if I've said this before, but I just love these people so much, I have to spread the word!
Anyway, the thing was a disaster. The base was rock hard and the caramel layer was way way way too liquidy. Added arrow root to no avail, and in the end I chucked in all of the chocolate of the top layer in an attempt to thicken it, which helped a bit, but not enough. Had I had more chocolate, I would've put that in. But I was out of chocolate and out of time, so I chucked the whole thing aside.
Now my question is: what can I still do with this mixture? I have a saucepan filled with a gooey chocolatey goo, being the ingredients of caramel layer + 200 gr of dark choc. It's really really extremely sweet. I was thinking if maybe I can throw in some flour & stuff, maybe I can still turn it in to something worth eating?
I'm sure one of you has an eye for these kinds of things. Help?
Thanks in advance!