This is my version of an Arnott’s Caramel Crown. A crisp biscuit topped with a deliciously sweet, refined sugar free, rich smooth caramel, which won’t harden when refrigerated. I used half gluten & dairy free milk chocolate and dark chocolate, it’s a happy compromise in our family. It’s dark enough for me to enjoy and sweet enough for the rest of the family.
I originally made a similar recipe a few years ago for a 40th birthday celebration. I’ve learnt a lot about flour combinations since then, so I decided to re-work and improve the old recipe. The new flour blend has improved the taste and texture, plus I have also simplified the method. I know there are a few steps to this recipe, but it’s definitely worth the effort. I hope you enjoy these biscuits as much as my friends and family do.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch to remove all the lumps/clumps before measuring. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
Makes approximately 29
182g (6.4 ounces or ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon) gluten & dairy free butter
72g (2.5 ounces or ½ cup) coconut sugar, to be blitz into powdered sugar
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) pure vanilla extract
96g (3.4 ounces or ¾ cup) white rice flour
44g (1.6 ounces or ⅓ cup) tapioca starch
36g (1.3 ounces or ¼ cup) sorghum flour
28g (1.0 ounces or ¼ cup) almond flour/meal
24g (0.8 ounces or 3 tablespoons) sweet rice flour
22g (0.8 ounces or 2 tablespoons) potato starch
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) salt
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) baking powder
24g (0.8 ounces or ¼ cup) desiccated coconut
110g (3.9 ounces or approx. ¾ cup) raw cashew nuts
144g (5.1 ounces or 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) coconut sugar, to be blitz into powdered sugar
4 tablespoons coconut butter (you can buy it, or follow the recipe below)
4 teaspoons (20ml) full fat coconut milk
1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract
48g (1.7 ounces or ½ cup) desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons (30ml) coconut oil, melted
100g (3.5 ounces) gluten & dairy free milk chocolate (I use this brand)
100g (3.5 ounces) dark chocolate of choice, min 70%
To make the powdered coconut sugar, place it in a coffee or spice grinder a ¼ cup at a time.
Then blend until it’s the consistency of powdered sugar.
Sift together all the dry ingredients and then stir through the desiccated coconut, before setting aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together with a handheld mixer, until light and creamy, and then beat in the vanilla extract.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined.
Sprinkle a little white rice flour over the worktop and gently knead the soft dough until it becomes a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 160C and line 2-3 trays with baking paper or parchment.
Take about ½ the dough and gently knead it between your hands until if becomes a smooth pliable ball. Roll it between 2 pieces of baking paper/parchment to approximately 3-4mm in thickness. My round cutter measured 6cm in diameter.
Although this dough is quite easy to work with, you still need to be gentle with it. Remove the layer of baking paper and cut out your circles, then remove the surrounding dough and then gently peel the cut shapes off before placing on the prepared trays.
You can put them quite close together, about 2cm or so, as they do not spread very much. Bake for approximately 15-16 minutes, until they are lightly golden around the edges. Immediately transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
While your biscuits are cooling, soak the cashews in a bowl of boiling water for a minimum of 30 minutes, but if you can leave them for an hour this is better. Soaking softens the nuts and helps to make a lovely smooth caramel.
If you’ve already bought coconut butter, you can skip this next step.
This is actually quite simple. Place the coconut in a mini food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes. As it starts to breakdown, the oils come out.
Add your coconut oil and blitz again for another minute or so and you end up with coconut butter.
In a clean, mini food processor, add your rinsed and drained cashews, powdered coconut sugar, coconut butter, coconut milk and pure vanilla extract, then puree until smooth. Voila….you have delicious sweet caramel!
Once your biscuits have cooled, place them on baking trays lined with baking paper or parchment, or place on a large cooling rack with baking paper underneath. Now place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of each biscuit and gently spread it around, leaving a small border around the edges.
If it is a warm day, the biscuits may need some time in the refrigerator so the caramel can firm up. Unfortunately, I learnt this the hard way in the past. As I was gently turning the biscuit to one side, to allow the excess chocolate to drip off, the caramel filling started to slide off!
You can microwave the chocolate until melted or you can melt the chocolate the old fashioned way. Heat some water in a small saucepan and place glass bowl over the top (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Once the water has boiled, turn it off. Add the chocolate to the bowl and stir frequently until melted. I leave the bowl over the saucepan of hot water so that my chocolate doesn’t thicken too quickly while I’m dipping all the biscuits.
It’s time for the messy part now, dipping your biscuits. There are two ways you can do this. The first method is to take a biscuit and dip it into the chocolate. Make sure you seal the edges around the caramel, then and gently turn the biscuit to one side for a moment to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. The second method is to use a spoon to pour the chocolate over each biscuit. The choice is yours.
Place your chocolate dipped biscuits back on the trays or cooling rack and once they are all choc dipped, place to one side until the chocolate sets, or you can refrigerate to speed up this process.
To store your biscuits, put them into shallow airtight containers in a single layer and store in the refrigerator. These biscuits will last up to a week in the refrigerator and the base still remains firm and crunchy.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
130C = 110C fan = 250F = Gas mark 1
150C = 130C fan = 300F = Gas mark 2
160C = 140C fan = 320F = Gas mark 3
180C = 160C fan = 350F = Gas mark 4
190C = 170C fan = 375F = Gas mark 5
200C = 180C fan = 400F = Gas mark 6
220C = 200C fan = 425F = Gas mark 7
230C = 210C fan = 450F = Gas mark 8