This week's sugar high also doubles as my entry in November's We Should Cocoa challenge, run by the beautiful and talented Chele and Choclette. If you've got a thing for chocolate, you should join in too. Every month these two set a recipe challenge, for something involving chocolate and a special guest ingredient. You can see the results of October's challenge here, but don't linger too long or your thighs might start expanding before your very eyes.
This month's celebrity guest ingredient is caramel - which was music to my ears because whenever I ask the Boy Wonder if he has any special requests on the baking front, he invariably asks for these sticky, gooey, caramelly bars.
Chocolate Caramel Bars
These are a sort of deconstructed millionaire's shortbread, with a crisp, buttery bottom, a gooey caramel middle studded with nuggets of dark chocolate and a crunchy top. Absolute decadence!
225g plain flour
60g desiccated coconut
85g caster sugar
1 tin condensed milk
2 generous Tbsp golden syrup
80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a slice tin with baking paper. Leave a generous overhang - this allows you to lift the whole slab out of the tin when it's cooked and saves on difficult washing up.
Put the flour, coconut and sugar into a bowl and stir to mix, then rub in the butter. I find the easiest way to do this is to grate it in. You can also do this in a food processor if you're so inclined. You want a mixture that clumps together rather than a smooth dough.
Press two-thirds of this mixture into the prepared tin and put it in the fridge while you prepare the topping. Set the remainder mixture aside.
For the topping, put the condensed milk, golden syrup and butter in a small pot and heat gently until melted. Cook for a few minutes more, just until it starts to catch on the bottom and turns a lovely golden colour. DO NOT leave it unattended - the consequences are terrible (and then you have to go out and buy more condensed milk). Pour this mixture over the prepared base, then sprinkle over the chocolate and the reserved base. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the house is filled with delectable aromas. Leave it in the tin to cool, then cut into bars.
Do you have a favourite end of the week baking treat? Link in to spread the sweetness of Fridays...