Salted Caramel Roasted Cashews Chocolate Squares
If you guys don’t mind, I’ll be very brief tonight. My daughter is here, the contractions have started a few hours ago, so it looks like we’ll be heading out to the hospital sometime soon. As you can very well imagine, I’m a bundle of nerves and writing doesn’t come all that naturally…
Besides, I don’t think these Salted Caramel & Roasted Cashews Chocolate Squares need much of an introduction!
I’m pretty sure that, just by looking at them, you guys can get a very good idea of how intensely chocolate-y they are, and how the roasted cashew bits add a nice crunch and nutty flavor to that thick layer of chocolate goodness… and how that crunchy sweet and salty caramel topping just takes the whole experience right over the top.
I admit, they are a little bit of work, but believe me when I say that they are worth every single second you’ll be spending in the kitchen.
Ready to dirty up some pots and pans? Let’s go!
Before you start, line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
Then, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the maple syrup to a boil and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 310°F.
Now I’m really sorry but I didn’t manage to take a picture of the next step: the whisking action! This happens really quick and is especially hard to capture when you’ve only got one set of hands…
Just keep in mind that you have to be quick when you do that. As soon as the syrup reaches the desired temperature, quickly remove the pan from the heat, dump the salt, ghee, baking soda and vanilla all at once and whisk well.
Then, immediately pour the caramel onto the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with Fleur de sel and place in the freezer to set and harden.
Meanwhile, in a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the ghee and salt then add the cashew pieces. Roast, stirring almost constantly, until the cashews turn golden and become highly fragrant, about 5 minutes total.
Turn off the heat and let the nuts cool for a few minutes.
While the nuts are cooling and the caramel is hardening, melt the finely chopped cacao paste in the microwave in 30-45 second intervals and stir well for an equal amount of time between each interval until it’s completely melted.
Note that chocolate can burn fairly quickly in the microwave, so it’s very important that you stop every now and then and stir well. The chocolate will continue to melt while you stir, too!
As soon as the cacao paste is fully melted, add the melted honey, ghee and pinch of salt and stir delicately until smooth.
Throw in the roasted cashews and stir until uniformly combined.
Grease a 9” square baking pan with ghee and then line it with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang at either end for trouble-free unmolding.
Then, pour the nutty chocolate concoction right into this pan and spread it lightly with a spatula all the way to the edge, if necessary.
You may also just wiggle the pan for a few seconds to spread the chocolate; it should do the trick.
Now, take the caramel out of the freezer and break it into tiny little pieces with the help of a meat mallet or rolling pin.
If you don’t want the caramel flying all over the place, it might be a good idea to cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Just sayin’…
Sprinkle the crunchy caramel bits all over the dark chocolate.
Place that pan in the fridge until the chocolate is fully set, at least 2 hours, and then cut into 36 squares.
Store in a cool dry place in an airtight container, for up to several weeks… if they last that long!
Salted Caramel Roasted Cashews Chocolate Squares
Crunchy Salted Caramel Bits
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tbsp ghee, or make your own
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or make your own
- 1/2 tsp Fleur de sel
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 2 tbsp ghee, or make your own
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring maple syrup to a boil and continue to cook until temperature reaches 310°F.
- When the sugar reaches that temperature, remove from heat and quickly whisk in salt, ghee, baking soda and vanilla; immediately pour into the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with Fleur de sel and place in the freezer to set and harden.
- In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt ghee and salt then add cashew pieces and roast stirring almost constantly until the cashews turn golden and become highly fragrant, about 5 minutes total.
- Turn off the heat and let the nuts cool for a few minutes.
- Grease a 9” square baking pan with ghee and then line it with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang at either end for trouble-free unmolding. Set aside.
- Melt the cacao paste in the microwave in 30-45 second intervals and stir well for an equal amount of time between each interval until it’s completely melted.
- When the chocolate is fully melted, add the honey, melted ghee and pinch of salt and stir delicately until smooth.
- Add roasted cashews to the melted chocolate and stir until uniformly combined, then pour that right into your prepared pan. Spread it lightly with a spatula all the way to the edge if necessary.
- Take the caramel out of the freezer and break it into tiny little pieces with a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle over the dark chocolate.
- Place in the fridge until fully set, at least 2 hours, and then cut into 36 squares.
- Stored in a cool dry place in an airtight container, this will keep for several weeks.
If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!
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15 Comments on “Salted Caramel Roasted Cashews Chocolate Squares”
OMG, the unbelievable decadence in a paleo treat. I’m printing if out for my files but it will be a while until I make it. Can’t wait really!
Wait ’til you see my Chewy “Turtles” Cookies… 😉 they’re like decadence to the 10th power!
OMG, they sound amazing! Again I cannot wait!
Holyyy, that caramel. It’s killing me. These look just like the epitome of perfect and would make fabulous Christmas gifts too, I should think! Pinning.
Thank you Abbie! I have to admit that the caramel is pretty… more-ish. Not something one should stay around for too long! 😉
is there anything to substitute “raw cacao paste” with? i don’t have that in my pantry and dont want to spend on another product…how about raw cacao, or cacao butter?
You could use dark chocolate, Susanna, and omit the honey…
Absolutely! Or maybe add an extra 50 grams, to make up for the lost honey…
What could I use in place of the maple syrup?…I just can’t do maple anything…
Sorry David, I really wouldn’t know… I’m curious, though. Why no maple?
I just have never been able to eat anything maple…one of the few things I can’t/won’t eat…
Perhaps, maybe, agave syrup or maybe even honey?
And yet, maple would be my ultimate favorite treat. I call it liquid gold! Funny how taste is such a subjective thing.
I wouldn’t recommend using honey, I think it’s too delicate to handle that kind of treatment… as for agave syrup, it’s simply not a product that I use or recommend using, so I really wouldn’t know.
Palm sugar might be a good option, or coconut nectar. I know that’s what I would try. Hope this helps, somewhat.
Could you elaborate on why you would not use agave syrup? I have not used this in the past, but have been seeing it pop up in more and more receipts…
Thanks for the responses…
Some say that Agave Nectar is so high in fructose, it’s probably worse for you than HFCS. Plus, it undergoes a lot of chemical processing in order to get to its final form. There are many articles on the subject on the Internet, you can read a few of them and decide for yourself. After reading a few of them myself, I decided against it. With so many other great options to choose from, I don’t know why I would even bother… 😉