Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caramel Swirl Hunks

I’m always on the lookout for recipes that contain ingredients that I’ve never used before. I’ve never even heard of dulce de leche so when I saw this recipe featured as part of the come-on to buy “A Passion For Baking” by Marcy Goldman, I was eager to try it and see how it is used.

Everything was going great until I got to the last step and opened the can of dulce de leche. The batter was a perfect consistency, like that of brownies, looking and tasting just like the promised caramel. From reading the recipe which instructed you to swirl or smear the dulce de leche into the batter, I was under the impression that it was a liquid. Imagine my surprise, then, when I opened the can and discovered that it is, instead, the consistency of peanut butter. I could dollop it as instructed with no problem, but swirling or smearing was out of the question.

After baking for 35 minutes, the edges were definitely done on their way to overdone and the middle was not at all wobbly, liquid or jiggly as the recipe had said was possible. It had a nice “crust” on it. Unfortunately, after I removed it from the oven and refrigerated it, I discovered that underneath that crust, was uncooked batter. I don’t believe that if I had lowered the oven temperature and cooked it 10 to 15 minutes longer as recommended, it would have helped. Indeed, I’m certain that it would have made a bad situation worse. The cooked part of this was dry already. If I had continued cooking it, it probably would have burned and the center would have dried out leaving me with an unpalatable mess.

Cooked as directed, the edges, other than being a bit dry, were delicious. The center was good if you like cookie dough, which I do.

Verdict: What were they thinking???

Caramel Swirl Hunks

(source: A Passion for Baking)

2 cups unsalted butter, melted
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
⅓ cup white sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup quick oats
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate
1 (14-ounce) can dulce de leche*

*Find dulce de leche on the baking aisle or with Mexican foods.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. In a mixer bowl, blend butter and both sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, and oats and blend well. Fold in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then fold in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with dollops of dulce de leche and then swirl or smear dulce de leche somewhat into batter.

Bake 35 to 38 minutes until batter is set (not wobbly and liquid). If it seems browned around the edges but jiggly in the center, lower the temperature to 325°F and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes longer until set. Refrigerate or freeze 1 hour. Cut into large hunks or blocks.

Recycle: dulce de leche can, vanilla extract bottle

Compost: eggshells

1 comment:

joey said...

Recipes are trial & error ... if you like the recipe well enough to try again ... tweak ... if not ... pitch! I also happen to love crispy ends but especially love the fact that you love to try new things!