Seriously, is there anything better than caramelized sugar? Ok, maybe caramelized sugar, a stick of butter, lightly toasted almonds and a glorious robe of melted chocolate. God help me, this stuff is amazing!
- ¾ cups Sliced almonds, toasted and completely cooled
- 1-¼ cup Brown sugar, light or dark, packaged
- ¼ cups Light corn syrup
- 8 tablespoons Butter without salt
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 3 ounces, weight Semi-sweet or semi-bitter chocolate, cut into small pieces
Start by lining a half baking sheet with a silpat liner (I have 6!) and measure out all the ingredients. Place the toasted almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 or 3 times to break into small pieces, being careful not to make the pieces too small. Alternatively, you can place the toasted almonds in a resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
In a 3- or 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat, combine the butter, corn syrup, butter, and water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches 285ºF. Remove the mixture from the heat and vigorously stir in the vanilla and baking soda. Pour the mixture onto a silpat lined half baking sheet and use an offset spatula to spread it thinly over the silpat. While caramel is still warm, sprinkle evenly with chocolate pieces. Allow the chocolate to soften from the residual heat for a few minutes, then use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer (I like to stop just before the edge of the caramel). Immediately sprinkle the almond pieces evenly over all the melted chocolate.
Place the caramel in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and break into serving pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container with wax paper between layers.
Note: To toast almonds, spread them in a single layer on an unlined half baking sheet and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 350°F and let the almonds toast for 8-12 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant (watch them carefully). Cool completely before use.
Recipe adapted from The Baking Bible.