HAVE A CRACK AT THIS

TAKE SOME SALTY CRACK­ERS, CARAMEL AND DARK CHOCO­LATE AND TURN THEM INTO A TO­TALLY AD­DIC­TIVE TREAT

The Observer - - WEEKEND TASTE - WORDS: ANNABEL CRABB PHOTO: ROB PALMER

This is a very wrong sort of dessert con­cept, in­volv­ing as it does a salty cracker that was pro­moted dur­ing our youth for its easy snap­pa­bil­ity into “bite size, snack size and man size” por­tions. How­ever, it turns out the Sal­ada bis­cuit is gnaw­ingly ad­dic­tive when blan­keted with hard caramel and given a shiny top­coat of dark choco­late. It’s not called “crack” for noth­ing.

SALTED CARAMEL ‘CRACK’

Serves 10

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

1 x 250g pack of Sal­ada bis­cuits

200g but­ter

185g (1 cup) soft brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla ex­tract

Gen­er­ous pinch of salt

200g dark choco­late, chopped

50g sliv­ered pis­ta­chios

15g dried rasp­ber­ries

METHOD

Rum­mage through your bak­ing trays to find one that will fit three Sal­ada crack­ers in one di­rec­tion and four in the other. You can of course snap them to fit if you can’t find quite the right tray, but this is the sort of sur­face area you’re af­ter. Line your bak­ing tray with foil and then bak­ing pa­per, and lay out the Sal­adas in a sin­gle layer.

In a saucepan, melt the but­ter and sugar to­gether over medium heat, then cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, for about 5 min­utes. The caramel should be thick and gloopy, and bub­bling away sul­lenly. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Take the caramel off the heat and quickly pour it all over the Sal­adas. Smooth with an off­set pal­ette knife or spat­ula, if you have one; if you don’t have one, get one im­me­di­ately – for real, it will change your life. (Also, this would be an awe­some time to re­mem­ber that you for­got to pre­heat the oven. All is not lost: jack it up quickly – 180C/160C fan, OK?)

Now, into the oven with the lot for 15 min­utes, or un­til the caramel has dark­ened to a deep gold. Keep an eye on it, as the caramel can quickly turn. When it’s a good dark colour, re­move from the oven and let it cool for a few min­utes, then sprin­kle the choco­late over the tof­fee. As the choco­late melts, use your spat­ula to spread it out evenly – this is ex­tremely sat­is­fy­ing. While the choco­late is still soft, sprin­kle over the pis­ta­chios and rasp­ber­ries.

Al­low your salted caramel “crack” to cool (not in the fridge, please), then snap into pieces and store in an air­tight con­tainer.

Images and recipes from Spe­cial Guest by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, Mur­doch Books, RRP $39.99.

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