Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet sweet Friday: We Should Cocoa - Raspberry Choc Nut Bars

Warning: this post may be dangerous to your health. But don't blame me, blame Choclette and Chele of the Chocolate Teapot. They've started up We Should Cocoa, a monthly challenge to food bloggers (floggers?) involving chocolate and a special guest ingredient.

September's guest star is raspberries, which was a bit tricky given that it's wild, wet spring outside here and fresh raspberries are a distant dream. But then I remembered an Ottolenghi recipe that I'd lovingly lingered over but never made. Could it be adapted to include chocolate?

The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. And, believe me, this little baby will knock your socks off. It's got nuts, chocolate, raspberry jam and rather a lot of unsalted New Zealand butter. But there are whole oats in there too, plus some milk. It's practically healthy!
Here's the recipe, taken from the first Ottolenghi cookbook and tampered with here and there. Wishing you a sweet, sweet Friday and a joyous weekend.


Raspberry Chocolate Nut Bars
A crunchy nut topping, a soft berry middle and a crisp, buttery bottom. Delish!

Base:
120g plain flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
60g caster sugar
pinch of salt
100g unsalted butter, diced
80g whole rolled oats (often called 'jumbo' oats)

Filling:
250g good quality raspberry jam
80g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Topping:
70g flaked almonds
70g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50g long thread coconut
100g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
40ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence (I actually used brandy - because that's the sort of woman I am, the sort that has plenty of brandy in the house but no vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until it forms crumbs. Stir in the oats to combine, then tip into the prepared tin. Don't press down too much, so the base stays light. Bake for 20 minutes or until light brown.
While the base is cooking, place the nuts and coconut in a large bowl. Put the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla into a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour this mixture over the nuts and stir well.
When the base has had its 20 minute sojourn, remove it from the oven and spread with the jam - be gentle or the base will break up everywhere. Sprinkle on the chocolate chunks, then pack the nut mixture evenly over the top. Return to the oven for another 25-30 minutes, until it's golden brown.
Leave until cold to cut into bars. A little of this goes a long way... Pin It

9 comments:

  1. OOh these look triple delicious.....actually they look a little bit like some bars my mum used to make, but I can't find the recipe....these one's are even better because they've got chocolate in. I'll definitely have a go some time.

    My motto is 'less is more, unless it's chocolate' (actually, a few other things too.....)

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  2. i'm not a great baker but i love sweet stuff too much not to give this a bash, just have to find where i put my long thread coconut...

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  3. Thoose look delicious. I've never heard of long thread coconut, is it a New Zealand thing>

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  4. Oh, oh oh - sweet Friday indeed. These look wonderful. Thanks for joining us with We Should Cocoa

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  5. Mmmm...these are great for my coffee morning with my friends. Love all the ingredients use. Thanks very much for sharing. MaryMoh at http://www.keeplearningkeepsmiling.com

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  6. Mmmm> This is looking really great! I love your recipes. I'll be trying this one day..for bookclub maybe.

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  7. Raspberries & chocolate - food soulmates! And OF COURSE the whole oats and milk make it healthy. And don't forget the jam with all the fruit in it... With a cup of tea one of these babies would make the perfect well balanced breakfast. Honestly, they look fab, don't need any justification, and I must make some soon.

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  8. Oh my god. Sounds amazing. I know I will LOVE it!

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Hello - thanks for stopping by. If this was real life I'd make you a cup of tea and open the biscuit tin, but in lieu of those things, let's have a chat anyway...