Salted spiced Caramel Slice

A week or so ago Better Homes & Gardens featured a variation of a caramel slice on one of the cooking segments (I think it was actually a repeat, but I don’t watch it often enough to remember, and wouldn’t own up to it even if I did!)…now the caramel slice is already pretty close to perfection, so I wondered how they could possibly make it any better.
This version is salted and spiced – I watched in wonder as Karen mixed not only the spices into the caramel mixture, but also threw in an Early Grey teabag. The finishing touch was a sprinkle of sea salt over the chocolate…I could barely wait for the newsagency to open the next morning in order to find myself a copy of the magazine with enclosed recipe. The look on the newsagent’s face when I impatiently paid my money over the counter revealed I wasn’t the first crazed housewife to rush in for the mag.
With visitors arriving yesterday afternoon, it seemed the perfect excuse to try the slice and have someone to share all those delicious calories with.

Salted spiced Caramel Slice
Adapted From Better Homes & Garden magazine, 05/12
Ingredients
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
120g unsalted butter, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Filling
50g unsalted butter, chopped
1/4 cup golden syrup
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Earl Grey tea bag
1 tin condensed milk
Topping
220g dark chocolate
30g unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon Maldon (or other good quality) sea-salt flakes

1. Preheat oven to 160 °C and line base of a slice tin with baking paper.

2. Put flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a food processor until combined. Press mixture evenly into prepared tin. Smooth surface and bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly golden.

3. Put golden syrup, butter, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and tea bag in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter has melted. Gradually bring to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Your mixture will be a lovely dark colour. remove and discard tea bag.
4. Add condensed milk to pan and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes or until mixture has thickened and slightly darkened again. Remove cinnamon from pan and discard. Pour mixture over cooled slice base. Bake for 8-10 or until bubbling and lightly golden. Set aside to cool until caramel is firm.

5. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Heat until almost melted, then remove and stir until smooth. Spoon over caramel filling and smooth surface with the back of a spoon.

6. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over topping, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Once firm, cut into slices and enjoy!

The spices add a subtle depth to the caramel, and the salted chocolate leaves your tastebuds tingling and wanting more! I was hoping the flavours would be too much of an odd combination for my children to tolerate, but they gobbled it up and asked for more!