Thursday, January 26, 2017

Christmas Crack (& failed creme brulee matcha cake)

Let's catch up on some of my last bakes in 2016, beginning with this highly addictive Christmas Crack! This is an ingenious and simple treat to make, and it's really customizable to your liking. I obviously went for a nutty version and topped it with almonds. A sprinkle of sea salt helped to balance and highlight the sweet toffee and chocolate really well!

The possibilities are endless (pistachios, pecans, pretzels, coconut, etc), and I highly recommend trying them out if you haven't. Top it with pink sprinkles and gift them to your valentines this year!

Christmas Crack (a.k.a. Saltine Toffee)
recipe adapted from Dessert for Two
makes about 24 pieces

24 saltine crackers
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
5 Tbsp (71g) unsalted butter
1 cup (180g) chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (70g) almonds, chopped
sea salt, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line quarter sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
2. Line up one layer of saltine crackers on the pan, leaving no space between crackers. (If using salted saltine, place salted side down)
3. In a pot, add butter and brown sugar and heat on medium-high heat until boiling. Continue boiling for 3 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and immediately pour brown sugar mixture evenly over crackers.
5. Bake for about 5 minutes until toffee is boiling all over.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee. Let them sit for a minute until they are melted.With a knife, spread chocolate evenly over toffee.
7. Sprinkled chopped almonds and sea salt if using over the top of the chocolate.
8. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.
9. Break or cut into pieces and serve.

Chop up some almonds or nuts of your choice.
Chop up a bar of chocolate.
Bring sugar and butter to a boil.
Line your crackers.
Pour the boiling sugar/butter mixture over crackers.
Bake for 5 minutes until sugar bubbles and hardens.
Sprinkle chopped chocolate on top.
Let it sit for a minute and spread evenly.
Top with nuts.
Set and break it into pieces.
Chewy and crisp - Enjoy!

Now.. with every success comes failure.

This was supposed to be a creme brulee green tea chiffon cake for my birthday!

First, the caramel failed to come together. It crystallized and was not at all pour-able. Water was added to try to bring it back together, but..

The custard and chiffon cake batter went smoothly. Looking back, maybe the custard needed to thicken more.

Tested at 45 minutes mark, and skewer did not come out clean. Cake was still jiggly. I left it to bake for an additional.. 10 mins.

Still jiggly, but I thought maybe it was just the flan.

Flipped. Nop, it was underbaked.

Good thing I flipped it onto an oven- safe plate. The whole thing was returned back to the oven for 20 mins more until the flan was set and edges of the cake was lightly toasted.

The taste and texture were not at all bad! Subtle matcha flavor with a silky egg flan. If only I baked it for a little more the first time, it would be pretty impressive! A for effort. Try again next birthday..

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