Don’t you just love this time of the year? It’s only a short time after Christmas yet we all have an excuse to eat more chocolate and lots of sweets….go Valentine’s Day! Since we are doing on All Through the Year Cheer event this month I have a great excuse to try as many delicious chocolate recipes as possible When I came across this gem of a recipe I knew it had to be tried. Chocolate and dulce de leche together….I’m in! This recipe is simple and elegant all at the same time. You can dress it up with berries if you want, but unfortunately I could not get a good shot of the bars decorated with the fruit. I’m going to blame this on all the dark gray weather we have been experiencing here in New York. Not always the best for food photography. If you want to make this recipe more complicated feel free to make your own dulce de leche, but I was lazy and didn’t feel like going that route. The best place to look for canned dulce de leche is in a Spanish market or the Spanish food isle of your local grocery store.
Now if you are wondering how this tastes, the answer is amazing. It has a nice buttery shortbread bottom and the topping has a nice rich chocolate flavor with a hint of the deep caramel like dulce de leche flavor. The topping sets up nicely but melts deliciously on the tongue. Now that I’m writing about this bar I need to get myself another one. While I’m eating this lovely little bar why don’t you go and make them? I know you will love them! Enjoy!!!
Chocolate Dulce de Leche Bars
Yield: 24 bars
For shortbread Crust:
1 stick unsalted butter - softened
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
For chocolate dulce de leche:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dulce de leche
4 large egg yolks
5 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate - finely chopped
Make shortbread crust:
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a shallow 9- to 9 1/2-inch square baking pan (1 to 1 1/2 inches deep). Line bottom and 2 sides with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Butter parchment.
Blend together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a bowl with a fork. Sift in flour and blend with fork until a soft dough forms.
Spread dough evenly in baking pan using an offset spatula or back of a spoon, then prick all over with fork.
Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, then cool completely in pan on a rack, about 30 minutes.
Make chocolate dulce de leche:
Bring cream and dulce de leche to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon until dulce de leche has dissolved.
Whisk together yolks in a bowl, then slowly whisk in hot cream mixture. Return to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until pan is visible in tracks of spoon and mixture registers 170°F on an instant-read thermometer. The texture will remind you of pudding. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until melted.
Pour chocolate mixture over cooled shortbread and chill, uncovered, until cold and set, about 2 hours.
Run a small knife around edges to loosen, then transfer to a cutting board using parchment. Cut with a hot clean knife (dip in hot water and wipe clean between cuts) into 24 bars. Chill until ready to serve.