I was quite interested to see another use for ANZAC biscuits in the newspaper a couple of weeks ago, and even more interested to see it being attributed to Masterchef Australia judge Matt Preston. Cravat Matt writes for several food mags and has even been featured in 'what I cook at home'-type stories (he happily barbeques slabs of meat by the looks of it). I've never cooked from anything of his, so I thought I'd give these Chocolate Caramel Bites a try.
Note: Choc Caramel Bites are my name for these. The original recipe calls them 'ANZAC cups with caramel' which I thought was a misnomer. Why? Because you're supposed to use ANZAC biscuits to produce something like this:
The thing is, the recipe just says to use a 'muffin tray' to make the cups, but doesn't specify what size tray to use. AND you'll notice in the newspaper clipping that there is only one cup pictured. It's always suspicious when you see just one or two things because it makes you/me think that these are the only ones that worked, and in the background is a sobbing chef surrounded by broken biscuits and over-wrought minions. And a food stylist trying to wrangle a photograph with a single ANZAC cup and some slices of mango.
Onto the recipe -- I ended up using a mini muffin pan (12 cups per tray) because my ANZAC biscuits were smallish. You have to squeeze the warm ANZAC biscuits into each muffin hole. They will break. You have to squash them together until they fuse up and reform. You may eat the many leftover crumbs and failures.
So these are 'bites' rather than 'cups'. They turned out surprisingly well, moreish little bits of almost-burnt caramel that was offset by the sweet chocolate and yummy ANZAC base. Maybe the Cravat can be trusted after all.
Chocolate Caramel Bites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cream
1/2 cup cream
150g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
40g butter, chopped
1. For the base: Bake your ANZAC biscuits, but do not let them cool completely. While the biscuits are still warm, push each biscuit into the holes of a mini muffin tin and shape it around the hole to get a cup shape. If they break, just push them back together. Do this with 24 ANZAC biscuits. When cooled, gently tip the formed biscuits out of the muffin tin and set aside.
2. For the caramel filling: In a heavy-based large saucepan, heat the sugar until the sugar crystals dissolve, the mixture boils and starts to become a golden colour. Do not stir once the sugar has started to boil. When this stage has been reached, whisk in the butter with the pan on the heat - be careful, as it may bubble over. When the butter has melted, remove from the heat and pour in the cream. Again, it may froth.Gently stir with a metal whisk to combine. Let the caramel cool slightly, and while it is still quite liquid, pour into each of the biscuit cases almost to the top. Place in the fridge to set.
3. For the ganache: Melt the chocolate in the microwave (Low setting, in 30 second bursts, until almost fully melted). Warm the cream in a saucepan but do not boil. Add the melted chocolate to the cream and stir to combine. Mix in the butter bit by bit until it's all incorporated and the ganache is sleek and glossy. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes, then spoon the ganache on top of the caramel cases. Leave to set before serving.
Store the caramel cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you have any leftover ganache, then it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Melt it in the microwave or on the stove and pour over ice cream. Yum.
- You could also make these bites with other chewy, homemade biscuits, such as gingernuts or brandy snaps.
recipe adapted from Taste in the Daily Telegraph
So the warm, just-baked ANZAC biscuits are forced into the the muffin tin. See the mess? I made that! I used a wodge of paper towel to protect my finger from the heat of the biscuits when I pressed them into the tin.
When cool, remove the cases from the tin. If you try this recipe, you may want to ensure that the sides are a bit more level than mine.
Making the caramel: I was a bit slow in noticing that the caramel had turned and it was just on the point of being burnt when I removed it from the heat. That's why it's such a dark brown colour.
Fill the cases with the cooled caramel. Again, if the sides were level, then it wouldn't have leaked so much.
Top the caramel with chocolate ganache, then refrigerate to set.
These bites were a success. How can you tell? Well, try and stop at just one...
PS: A sprinking of salt flakes on top increases the enjoyment.