Oh my. Bake as a gift and you may find it hard to part. Make a double batch.
I came across these crackers six years ago on a visit to Ottolenghis’ Soho store. They were wrapped in clear cello, tied with a ribbon and I’d never seen anything like them before. They reminded me of Millionaires Shortbread – you know, those fudgy chocolate shortbread bars – but somehow seemed more elegant and less trashy. I brought a pack home and tried my best to make them last as I figured out the base. Not being a matzoh eater, my closest reference was a cream cracker and that didn’t seem right.
And then, just last month, the mystery was solved. Baker & cook book author, Helen Goh posted her version of these on the Gram and referenced the original recipe, ‘Marcy Goldman’s Caramel Matzoh Crunch.’
I was on a roll.
“Is this like the Ottolenghi one?” I asked Helen, aware that Helen had written Sweet with Ottolenghi, “I could never divine the base.” Helen’s replied, “Ah yes! The base for the Ottolenghi version is a house-made cracker whereas this is matzoh from a box. But the method is the same”
So I cranked up my Kitchen Aid and in true Ottonlenghi style, made the base from scratch, (see previous Birdfeed recipe for Matzoh Crackers.). And with fond memories still of that original Soho trip, I added candied hazelnuts to Marcy’s recipe, to simply gild the lily.
Note. I used Vegan Block in lieu of butter and it worked just fine, so if you choose your chocolate with care as well, these crackers can also be suitable for vegans.
4-6 matzoh crackers
215g soft brown sugar
Pinch of salt
200g dark chocolate, finely chopped
For the hazelnut brittle,
100g caster sugar
100g hazelnuts, toasted & split
First, make your hazelnut brittle. Simply heat the caster sugar in a non-stick pan until it becomes a dark, caramel syrup. Add a pinch of salt and quickly tip in the nuts, swirling around the pan to fully cover. Rapidly but with care, pour the mix onto a silicon lined baking sheet to set. When cold, chop into nutty chunks.
Preheat your oven to 190c and line a large baking sheet, (I used a large Aga roasting pan) with foil, allowing for the foil to curl up the sides. Next, line with baking parchment – this is a sticky business and you’ll be glad of this double layer.
Lay the crackers onto the sheet, covering all surface area, breaking the crackers to fit, if needs be.
Over a medium heat and in a heavy bottomed pan, bring the brown sugar and butter to the boil and allow to boil for three minutes, stirring all the while. Carefully, as the mixture is super hot, pour over the matzoh crackers to cover completely.
Transfer the baking sheet into the oven, drop the temperature to 175c and bake for 15 minutes, keeping an eye in case of burning – reduce temperature to 160 if needs be.
When the crackers are ready, retrieve from the oven and scatter over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for a few minutes and then smooth over surface for an even coverage. Cover with the hazelnut brittle to your heart’s content.
Leave to set but whilst still warm, cut into portions and then chill completely in the fridge.