Chocolate Crackle and Peanut Caramel Slice

Chocolate crackles have such a power over me. They're one of those food items that can reduce me to giggly fits of glee at the thought of making them. You're never too old to enjoy that simple treat, but this slice offers a way to deliver them with a little more class than usual. 

I've been waiting for the perfect excuse to make this. So when I threw a get together this weekend just gone these were the first thing on my list of party food. 

The slice starts off with a layer of chocolate shortbread.

Smother that in a peanutty caramel mixture.

Then cover with chocolate crackle truffles. Loooots of truffles.

I sprinkled them with more peanuts, sliced them up into 4-truffle sizes, decorated them with chocolate sticks and dusted with cocoa. 

But because this was party food, and was to be amongst many other desserts I decided to sacrifice prettiness for practicality. This is a very rich slice and should probably only be served as a large slice if having for dessert on its own. As a party food, they go further as single-truffle serves. 

The following recipe makes about 80 truffles. This is much more than you need, so fill free to make a bit less, but it's hard to say no to extra chocolate crackle truffles. Alternatively, you can skip the truffles and spread the chocolate crackle mixture over the caramel layer to create a third later.

Chocolate Crackle Slice

Ingredients

1 cup (150g) plain flour
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa
175g unsalted butter
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt
2 x 380g cans Nestlé Top 'N' Fill (if you can't get this is it essentially a shortcut to boiling sweetened condensed milk)
2/3 cup (190g) smooth peanut butter
chocolate sticks, to decorate
1/3 cup (45g) roasted salted peanuts

Chocolate Crackle Truffles
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa
1 1/2 cups (240g) icing sugar
5 cups (175g) coco pops or rice bubbles
1 cup (250g) copha (vegetable shortening) melted
1 cup desiccated coconut

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a lamington/slice pan.
  2. Sift flour with cocoa. In a separate bowl, beat sugar, butter and salt until pale and fluffy. Gradually mix in flour mixture until mixture just comes together. Press evenly over base of pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until form. Cool. 
  3. Heat caramel and peanut butter in a saucepan until mixture boils; reduce heat and simmer for a further 2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth. Spread filling over shortbread base and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until firm. 
  4. To make crackle truffles, combine all ingredients except copha in a bowl and toss until well mixed. Add copha and stir. Using wet hands, shape tablespoons of mixture into truffles. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until firm.
  5. Place truffles on top of filling in rows; cut into slices and decorate with chocolate sticks.  

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