Today marks day 46 ~ 46 days of no sugar, no caffeine, lots of working out and a grilled taco at every meal. Ok, the grilled taco thing is a slight exaggeration, but really, 46 days of no sugar, no caffeine? Today I have decided to put the kibosh on my hiatus from that dark, pungent liquid ~ coffee. Instead of my usual 2 tsp of sugar and fat-free half and half, I used skim milk (yes, that clear, blue water milk) and 1 tsp of Agave nectar. My first taste of coffee in 46 days? Stupendous! I do miss the half and half, and I am a huge fan of raw sugar, but the Agave and skim milk will suffice until my 90 days of torture, I mean P90X2, draws to an end. “Only one thing is certian about coffee…. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.” ~Mark Pendergrast
Coffee and Chocolate Crunch Bars
Made with probably two of the most potent and habit-inducing flavours known to man, these Coffee and Chocolate Crunch Bars are rightfully addictive. Who can resist?
- 1½ cups plain all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp espresso powder, or finely ground instant coffee
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup packed, light muscovado sugar
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 80g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 170g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
* ¾ cup chopped almonds, roasted
MAKING THE BASE
Preheat oven to 190°C. Prepare a 23x33cm shallow baking pan with some parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, salt and cinnamon, set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Beat in the vanilla and mix until combined.
Sift the dry ingredients over in two additions just until the flour has been incorporated into the batter.
Add the chopped chocolate and mix until combined. Be careful not to overwork the batter.
Scrape the dough together using a spatula, the dough will be quite sticky and heavy.
Fill the baking pan evenly with the dough, using your fingers to press into corners and fill holes to make a nice even layer.
Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until the base starts to bubble vigorously.
Remove from oven and get ready to add the topping.
MAKING THE TOPPING
Scatter chopped chocolate evenly over the surface of the hot base and replace in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
The chocolate will begin to melt although will not have spread evenly.
Remove from oven and immediately spread the melted chocolate evenly using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle roasted almond over the chocolate.
Place the baking pan on a rack to cool to room temperature and for chocolate to set. If need be, place the bars in the refrigerator to set the chocolate.
When chocolate has set firmly, carefully lift the bars out of the pan using the edges of the parchment paper.
Cut the bars into whichever size you want and serve.