These Chocolate Caramel Nut Clusters are made up of 3 parts: a toasted nut layer, a creamy caramel layer, and a rich and smooth chocolate layer which basically makes them a flavour explosion in your mouth.
- 1 – 100 g bar Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate Bar
- 1 – 100 g bar Lindt Swiss Classic Milk Chocolate Bar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 7 oz sweetened condensed milk (1/2 of a 14 ounce can)
- 1 1/2 cups total of nuts of your choice (I used 1/2 cup hazelnuts (1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts slightly toasted))
Making the caramel:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook while stirring constantly, until the temperature of the caramel reaches 243 degrees, about 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Toasting the nuts:
- Toast the nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Shake or stir continuously until the nuts start to turn golden brown (this only takes a few minutes). Transfer nuts to a bowl and set aside.
Melting the chocolate:
- Finely chop the chocolate bars.
- To melt the chopped chocolate, I put a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water (making sure that the bowl and pan fit together snug).
- Add the chopped chocolate to the bowl, and stirring constantly gently heat the chocolate until it is melted and smooth.
- Remove from the heat and cool until the chocolate begins to set on the side of the bowl. Set aside.
Putting the clusters together:
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the nuts into little clusters on the parchment paper, separating the clusters by about 2 inches: I used 2 pecans, 4 – 5 hazelnuts and a couple macadamia nuts.
- Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of caramel over each nut cluster, working quickly so the caramel doesn’t have a chance to harden.
- Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the melted chocolate over the top of the caramel and nuts.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. You can serve them once the candy clusters have hardened.
I sprinkled a coarse sugar and vanilla blend onto the tops of these clusters, but you can also use sea salt.