Beware everybody 'cause once you try that you never go back!
This is some serious sticky icky gooey chewy treat. I didn't expect it to be that evil while I was going through the recipe but it turned out the be one toffee concentrated dish.
Let me tell you what this is all about, the base is a toffee batter (which I improved by adding sea salt) topped with a sweet nutty meringue- so that makes a soft and sticky base with a light and crunchy top- I would say: enter angel music, but this deserves something more like smoke on the water. YYYeaaah!
Although they go in the oven for a total of three times, It didn't feel like a lot of work at all. For sure not more than making three batches of cookies.
This is the main component, melted butter and sugar....
And this is what brought the squares to another level
Batter in pan (as you can see I used a pan that was closest in size to the pan required in the recipe, and not the exact measurements)
I didn't feel like chopping nuts so I just crushed them in a kitchen cloth with a rolling pin. For these squares you could use really any kind of nuts you like or have, I bet salted macadamia nuts would be great, as well as pecans.
Whipped thick egg whites, with hazelnuts folded in.
Before and after baking
And this is how the squares look after they were baked for the third time, cooled down and were cut. Very oozy, just stick the pan in the fridge and let them firm up.
Sticky Toffee Meringue Squares:
100 gr butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tbsp lour
pinch of salt
sea salt to sprinkle
2 egg whites
pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup (I used honey)
100 gr nuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 170c°.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add both sugars and stir well, cook until mixture starts to bubble, take off heat and set a side to cool down. (If your mixing bowl is made out of a heat resistant material you may pour the mixture straight in the bowl)
Lightly beat the egg and egg yolks with the vanilla extract. Add to the cooked sugar mixture in a bowl together with the flour and salt. Stir into a smooth thick batter and pour into a square 23X35 cm pan (greased and lined with parchment paper, this is sticky stuff so be sure not to skip this), or use any pan you have that is close to those measurements. Sprinkle over as much sea salt as you like, this is optional but I tell you it's worth it (didn't measure but I would say about 1 tsp).
Bake in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes until the mixture is still soft in the center but not liquid.
About 5 minutes before the baking time is over, start making the:
Whip egg whites with a pinch of salt to soft peeks, slowly start adding the sugar and whip to a thick shiny meringue mixture, mix in maple syrup (or honey).
Fold in ¾ of the chopped nuts, spread the meringue over the hot baked batter, scatter over the rest of the nuts and bake for another 30 minutes until meringue is lightly brown.
Cool for 30 minutes after baking (in room temp).
Preheat oven to 130°c.
Cut into squares, let them in the pan and bake for 30-40 minutes to dry out.
After baking cool completely and keep in an airtight container, I actually enjoyed them more after a night in the fridge.