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Chocolate Caramel Nut Clusters


Description

These Chocolate Caramel Nut Clusters are made up of 3 parts:  a toasted nut layer, a creamy caramel layer, and a rich and smooth chocolate layer which basically makes them a flavour explosion in your mouth.


Scale

Ingredients

Chocolate Layer:

  • 1100 g bar Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar
  • 1100 g bar Lindt Swiss Classic Milk Chocolate Bar

Caramel Layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)

Nut Layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups total of nuts of your choice (I used 1/2 cup hazelnuts (1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts) slightly toasted)

Instructions

Making the caramel:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook while stirring constantly, until the temperature of the caramel reaches 243 degrees, about 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Toasting the nuts:

  1. Toast the nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Shake or stir continuously until the nuts start to turn golden brown (this only takes a few minutes). Transfer nuts to a bowl and set aside.

Melting the chocolate:

  1. Finely chop the chocolate bars.
  2. To melt the chopped chocolate, I put a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (making sure that the bowl and pan fit together snug).
  3. Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl, and stirring constantly gently heat the chocolate until it is melted and smooth.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool until the chocolate begins to set on the side of the bowl. Set aside.

Putting the clusters together:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange the nuts into little clusters on the parchment paper, separating the clusters by about 2 inches: I used 2 pecans, 4 – 5 hazelnuts and a couple macadamia nuts.
  3. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of caramel over each nut cluster, working quickly so the caramel doesn’t have a chance to harden.
  4. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the melted chocolate over the top of the caramel and nuts.
  5. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. You can serve them once the candy clusters have hardened.

Notes

I sprinkled a coarse sugar and vanilla blend onto the tops of these clusters, but you can also use sea salt.