The moment I read this recipe on Deb Perlman’s site (@smittenkitchen) I knew I was going to be making this interesting salty/chocolaty/caramelly concoction.
I used good old-fashioned Tuc biscuits – those light, salty, crisp biscuits in a yellow pack – remember? They’ve been around forever, and I hadn’t had one for years.
Verdict on taste-test of Tuc biscuits: Hmmm not exactly as I remembered them – better have another one to be sure – but not bad, not bad at all. It took me a while to gather up the ingredients for this recipe, because I kept eating the biscuits.
Note to self: only buy Tuc biscuits on the day you’re making this recipe.
This recipe is easy-peasy – but to be honest – a little time consuming. Worth it, though, in my opinion. I only ever decorate these at Christmas time, which in my case would save a load of time. Biggest deal is double lining the baking tray.
My tray wasn’t as big as Deb Perlman required, but it was the biggest I have –
10x15inches – 25 x 37cms approx.
and in my opinion, the quantities worked perfectly with my tray.
So, this recipe is for a large baking tray, or use two smaller Swiss-roll tins.
You’re going to like these… I’ll be adding them to Christmas hampers in the coming
months – gulp! – weeks. They need to be kept in the fridge though, but that’s what labels are for, right? They also freeze beautifully, separated by sheets of baking parchment in an air-tight box. “You can almost eat them directly from the freezer” says the woman who tried and succeeded. 😉
- 1 10x15inch/25x37cm shallow baking tray
- Tin foil
- Baking parchment
- Mezzaluna, or other chopping device, for chopping chocolate
- medium-sized saucepan
- 1 packet of Tuc biscuits, or plain matzo crackers
- 225g unsalted butter, cut into large chunks
- 180g light brown sugar
- 200g chocolate, chopped into small pieces
- Splash of Vanilla extract
- 100g White Chocolate, for decoration.
- Salt flakes – optional. I used Maldon salt flakes
- Line the tray first. Cut a single layer of tin foil and fit it carefully into every corner of the tin. Tuck the extra foil over and under the edges of the tray. Grease lightly with butter, especially in the corners, and along the straight edges of the tin.
- Cut a similar size sheet of baking parchment and fit it onto the foil lining.
- Put a single layer of Tuc biscuits onto the base of the tin. Make sure they fit into the corners. If you have spaces left, use a sharp knife to gently cut the last few crackers into shape. Put the tray to one side.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces. I used dark Chocolate, but any combination of chocolate, or a mixture, would be perfect.
- Heat the oven to 160ºFan, or equivalent.
- Heat the butter and sugar in the saucepan, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, Stir all the time with the spatula. Let the Caramel come to the boil, add the Vanilla extract and an optional pinch of salt, and cook for a few more minutes. As soon as it has thickened up, remove from the heat.
- Put the biscuit-filled baking tray on a level surface and pour the Caramel over evenly.
- Pop it in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, keeping an eye that it doesn’t start to burn at the edges. It will bubble and change colour very quickly.
- Wash and dry the spatula.
- Carefully remove the tray from the oven, and immediately sprinkle over the chocolate as evenly as you can.
- Leave it to melt on the hot caramel for 3-4 minutes, then use the spatula to spread it evenly over the top of the caramel. This is really easy to do.
- Sprinkle over some salt flakes – 1/4 of a teaspoon is loads – you don’t want to make it too salty; don’t forget that the biscuits are salty already.
- Put the tray into the fridge and allow to cool completely. I left mine for a couple of hours while I did other stuff.
- Cut into shapes. I’ve put the hints for Christmas tree shapes in the NOTES
- Keep any crumbs or off-cuts in a jar in the fridge, they make a great topping for ice-cream, or the top of a trifle.
- Store in layers, divided by greaseproof baking paper in an airtight container in the fridge. As I said, they freeze perfectly.
- To cut Christmas Tree shapes: Once the biscuits have completely cooled and hardened, measure out and cut lengths of 6-7cms on the hardened Chocolate.
- Starting at one end, cut off the edge, then cut long triangles right along the length of the section.
- As you can see my ”decorating efforts” – and I use the term loosely – consisted of waving a teaspoon with with melted White Chocolate over the Christmas Tree shapes, and then using ridiculous amounts of edible sparkly spray. Works for me!! I’m sure yours will be completely fabulous, so yes, share them with me please!
- I really didn’t know how the Tuc biscuits were going to work for this recipe, but I needn’t have worried – The toffee combines with the biscuit layer to make a delicious crisp base.
- Later NOTE: I tried these with Ryvita, and they’re fine, but not as nice as with the Tuc biscuits. The Ryvita ones are also much more difficult to cut. I’ll probably stick with Tuc biscuits.
- Obviously with all this hot sugar about the place, it would be advisable to make this while the kids are otherwise occupied – sleeping would be best!
- Do keep them in the fridge – the chocolate melts in a heartbeat.
- Double-lining the tin is the business – I would hate to be trying to get that toffee off the surface.
- For giving away as gifts, I cut these into Christmas Tree shapes and drizzled them with white chocolate, but for ordinary eating, just cutting them into squares worked very well.