Thursday, 18 August 2011

Viennese Chocolate-Walnut Bars

Rich, very rich. Chocolatey, walnutty, shortbready – Maida delivers again.

And otherwise a great opportunity to leave the DSLR in its bag and Instagram with a low-quality phone camera.
Preheat oven to 190C. Line a 20cm square cake pan unless it’s silicon, like mine. Have I mentioned I love my $4 Kmart silicon tin? Then get making the crust.

120g butter
50g dark brown sugar
200g plain flour, sifted

Cream butter in mixer. Beat in dark brown sugar. On low speed, gradually add flour and beat just until the mixture holds together. Press dough evenly across bottom of tin. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make filling.

¼ cup raspberry jam
170g walnuts
2 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dutch-process cocoa

As crust cooks, grind walnuts to a fine powder and set aside. Mine ground to more of a paste, but close enough.

Beat eggs at high speed for 2–3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add salt and vanilla and then, on low speed, add sugar and cocoa. Increase the speed to high again and beat for 2–3 minutes more. On low speed beat in ground walnuts, beating only until incorporated.

Soften jam in the microwave if it’s jellylike, then spread over the hot crust, leaving a centimetre border at the edges.

Pour filling over the crust and jam, tilting pan to level.

Bake at 190C for half an hour. Cool completely before icing.

170g dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons corn, rice malt or golden syrup
2 teaspoons espresso coffee
2 teaspoons boiling water
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

In a bowl, microwave chocolate in 20-second bursts stirring in between until melted. Add corn syrup, coffee and boiling water, and stir until smooth.

Spread icing over cake; sprinkle with chopped walnuts and press down gently. Cool and refrigerate for an hour or two or overnight before slicing into squares and serving at room temperature.

Adapted from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies, pp84–5.


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