Coffee and Chocolate Crunch Bars
Made with probably two of the most potent and habit-inducing flavours known to man, these Coffee and Chocolate Crunch Bars are rightfully addictive. Who can resist?
- 1½ cups plain all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp espresso powder, or finely ground instant coffee
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup packed, light muscovado sugar
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 80g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 170g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
* ¾ cup chopped almonds, roasted
MAKING THE BASE
Preheat oven to 190°C. Prepare a 23x33cm shallow baking pan with some parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, salt and cinnamon, set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and mix until combined.
Sift the dry ingredients over in two additions just until the flour has been incorporated into the batter.
Add the chopped chocolate and mix until combined. Be careful not to overwork the batter.
Scrape the dough together using a spatula, the dough will be quite sticky and heavy.
Fill the baking pan evenly with the dough, using your fingers to press into corners and fill holes to make a nice even layer.
Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until the base starts to bubble vigorously.
Remove from oven and get ready to add the topping.
MAKING THE TOPPING
Scatter chopped chocolate evenly over the surface of the hot base and replace in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
The chocolate will begin to melt although will not have spread evenly.
Remove from oven and immediately spread the melted chocolate evenly using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle roasted almond over the chocolate.
Place the baking pan on a rack to cool to room temperature and for chocolate to set. If need be, place the bars in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.
When chocolate has set firmly, carefully lift the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper.
Cut the bars into whichever size you want and serve.