Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rum raisin caramel bars

Hello everyone, do you ever cook something that you have highly anticipated, only to find that the finished product (and not because of your skills), comes up short? I had this experience this week. I have had a recipe for a chocolate macadamia cheesecake for twenty years, which I have always wanted to make, but could never find the right opportunity. Well, finally, this week I got around to it and was quite sure it was going to be the most delicious thing I had ever done. Sadly, not. It was quite nice and I was assured by those who ate it that it was "up there" with my other efforts, but I felt somewhat let down by it. I think for me it wasn't quite creamy enough - the recipe writer did emphasise that it was created in a search for something lighter than the usual cheesecake. Oh well....cross that one off the list.

This week's recipe is a winner - it is chocolate so you can't go wrong. Have a happy week. Love from Jane xx

Rum Raisin Caramel Bars

Bars can be made up to four days ahead.

What you need:

· 125g butter
· ½ cup castor sugar
· 1 cup plain flour (you can substitute rice flour)
· 2 tablespoons cocoa
Rum and raisin filling
· 400g can sweetened condensed milk
· 30g unsalted butter
· 1 tablespoon dark rum (actually any colour will do)
· ½ cup chopped raisins (can use sultanas)
· ¼ cup coconut
· 125g chocolate, melted
· 30g butter, melted

What you do:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Grease the base and sides of a 19cm x 29cm lamington pan, cover the base with baking paper and grease the paper.
3. To make the filling, combine the condensed milk and butter in a heavy based saucepan and bring to the boil while stirring constantly and vigorously over heat for about 10 minutes or until golden brown, then remove from the heat.
4. Stir in the rum, raisins and coconut and leave to cool to lukewarm.
5. For the base, combine the butter and the sugar in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
6. Stir in the sifted flour and cocoa.
7. Press the mix evenly over the base of the lamington tin.
8. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until firm.
9. Cool the base for 10 minutes, then spread with filling and cool to room temperature.
10. To make the topping, combine the melted chocolate and butter in a small bowl and stir until the mixture is smooth and spreadable.
11. Spread the topping on the slice and store in the fridge until set, before cutting into bars or slices.