Thursday, 21 February 2013

Caramelised White Chocolate Thins

When it comes to caramelised white chocolate I'm not sure if I'm late or early to the party. All I know for certain is I'm glad I came as quite the event it is. I am a fan of white chocolate as a baking ingredient, so it was with no small amount of excitement that I discovered it could be infused with deep flavours of toasted caramel, with only the minimum of effort.

To make this nectarous delectation, all you need to do is spread some white chocolate chunks (I used 200g) evenly over a shallow baking tray and place in the centre of the oven at 130C/250F/Gas ½ for about 45-60 minutes. The key to it though is, every 5-10 minutes you need to remove the tray from the oven and smear the chocolate around with a silicone spatula or palette knife, spreading it evenly. Keep doing this until the mixture is deep golden then spoon into a dish and stir until smooth and glossy. You can then use it immediately or transfer to a jar or container lined with baking parchment, melting over a bain-marie as required. It is simply divine and can be treated just like any other type of melted chocolate, spread, stirred through, or set. My current preference is to salt and set it into little bars!

That isn't the end of the story though, for there is titillating twist. If for whatever reason the melted chocolate goes to far, it will seize into nuggets. These should certainly not be discarded, far from it in fact, as they are beautiful sprinkled over ice cream, or tossed into cake batter or cookie dough. And just to prove I'm a (gentle)man of my word, here is a lovely little recipe that makes use of them in just that way.

Prep time: 15 Minutes
Baking time: 15 Minutes
110g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
175g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
1tsp Vanilla Extract
150g Plain Flour
200g Caramelised White Chocolate Nuggets

To the kitchen! Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a large flat baking sheet with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the egg with the vanilla extract. Mix in the plain flour until evenly combined, then fold through the chocolate nuggets. Moisten your hands with a little water, then break off a small amount of the biscuit dough, roll into a golf ball shape and place on the tray. Repeat, making sure there is a large gap between each ball as they will spread considerably during baking. You should get about 12 out of the mix and I actually bake them in batches of four. Place the tray in the centre for the oven for about 15 minutes, until each ball has spread to a thin round biscuit and turned an even golden on top. Remove from the oven, carefully slide the paper off of the tray and leave on the paper until cool. Carefully peel each thin biscuit from the paper and you're finished!

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