This weekend I took up the Claytons Bloggers' challenge to 'Pimp that Biscuit' - and I decided to make a big Caramel Crown.
The Caramel Crown is one of my favourite bought biscuits. It has a crunchy base topped with a layer of caramel, and the whole thing is coated in milk chocolate. Mmmmm......
After much close inspection of the Caramel Crown - slicing, dissecting, tasting etc - it was decided that the base was a quite plain and not particularly sweet biscuit - so I decided to use packaged biscuits and crush them up.
I chose a reasonably plain type of biscuit - kind of like an oaty digestive - and crushed two packs of them finely. Then I melted 200 g butter and stirred it in.
I lined a 22 cm springform pan with baking paper, and then formed the cake base by pressing in the crumb and butter mixture, and moulding it into a shallow bowl shape.
The original biscuit has tiny bumps around the biscuit edge, but after a few unsuccessful attempts at copying this effect, I decided that particular feature wasn't very important (except that it's probably the reason the word 'crown' is in the biscuit's name. Never mind).
I cooked it for 15 minutes on 180 C and let it cool completely before removing it from the tin and putting it on the serving plate.
The Caramel Crown has a layer of caramel (as you would expect) and as I have very little experience at making that type of thing, I decided to cheat and use caramel topping from a tin.
To be more authentic, it would need a smooth, home-made caramel, like the caramel you find in Twix and Mars bars.
Annoyingly, for some reason I stopped taking step-by-step photos at this point, but after I filled the biscuit case with the caramel, I then melted a 200 g bar of cooking chocolate, let it cool for a while, and poured it over the caramel part of the cake. Then I melted another bar of chocolate, and when that had cooled and thickened a bit, I used it to pour and spread over the edges and sides.
Quite a lot of chocolate pooled around the biscuit base, but that was fine because I had put strips of baking paper under the sides that I could remove afterwards.
I put the cake in the fridge to set the chocolate, and when it was starting to firm up, I drew a few lines in the top in an attempt to copy the ridges on the top of the original Caramel Crowns.
Then when the chocolate was completely set, I trimmed around the pooled chocolate at the base with a sharp knife, in order to remove the baking paper strips.
I had timed my Caramel Crown Cake-making so that it could be my Number One Son's (15th) birthday cake but didn't want to stick candles in my creation. So I stuck them in two obliging Caramel Crowns instead.
After the singing and blowing out of the candles, the cake was whipped back into the kitchen and cut with a sharp knife to reveal the interior, which looked pretty much like the original. It tasted similar but not identical, was very sweet and very popular.
400 g plain oatmeal biscuits
200 g unsalted butter
1 tin of top and fill caramel
400 g (approx) milk cooking chocolate (good quality)
The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale
3 hours ago