Monday, December 02, 2013

chocolate pecan bars - inspired leftovers


A few weeks ago I looked in my freezer and found I had 2 batches of leftover chocolate pastry just sitting there waiting to be used. I decided to use the pastry as the base for a slice but  I needed to find a filling recipe. I went to my go-to resource, the internet, to track down a recipe for salted caramel pecan bars. 

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I wanted the bars to be a bit like a pecan pie in texture. I clearly didn't read the recipes carefully enough because that's not what I ended up with!

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The recipe I used had a huge amount of sugar in it and I was tempted to halve it immediately but didn't. I should have because I found the filling way too sweet. My salt flakes also went AWOL so in the end they were just plain old chocolate pecan bars. They disappeared in a flash though so the test audience didn't find the sweetness a problem.

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Here's the recipe for you, with the filling adapted from Southern Living.

Chocolate Pecan Bars

Filling 
1 cup roughly chopped pecans 
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
¾ cup unsalted butter  
2 tbsp cream 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
salt flakes 
50 grams dark chocolate, melted 

Chocolate Pastry  
225 g (8 oz) plain flour 
25 gm (¼ cup) cocoa  
125 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter chilled and cubed  
85 g (3 oz) caster sugar  
1 egg, beaten   

Place the flour, cocoa, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add the beaten egg until the dough starts to gather around the blade of the processor. Remove the dough and bring together into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. You won’t need all the pastry so freeze the leftovers for later use. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Bake the pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 7-8 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. 

While the pecans are toasting, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3 - 4mm thick. Line the base and sides of a slice tin (7 x 11 inches) with baking paper. Roll out approximately half of the pastry and fit to the base. Lightly prick the base with a fork and bake in a moderate oven 350°F/180°C for 10 – 15 minutes or until the edges have lightly coloured and the base is dry. The base will shrink a little as it cooks. Remove the tin from the oven and set to one side while making the topping.  

Combine sugar, butter, and cream in a medium-size heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and pecans. Pour the mixture over the base, spreading to coat. 

Bake at 350°F/180°C for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Remove the tin from the oven and lightly sprinkle with the salt flakes. Allow the slice to cool before removing the slice to a wire rack. Carefully remove the slice from the paper and using a sharp knife cut into bars. Decorate the top of the bars with squiggles of melted chocolate.

Note
I melted the chocolate in the microwave using a small sandwich bag then snipped off one of the corners to use as a piping bag. 

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I don't know about you but Christmas madness has descended on my corner of the world. I'm buying gifts; baking treats; writing Christmas cards and I have a weekend of Christmas get togethers. 

Enjoy the rest of your week,

Jillian

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you like them. Look out for something very Canadian on the blog next week.

    J

    ReplyDelete