Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tequila Lime Bars with Chocolate Ganache and Almond Graham Cracker Crust

With summer just around the corner, I am looking forward to all the awesome nights enjoying ice cold adult beverages at some of our favorite hang outs. We are still waiting to get Berkeley's official days off for the season, which will be the kick off to summer for us. Until we know, I wanted to share with you a fun summery recipe that I am submitting to the May Spiked! recipe challenge. 

This round of the Spiked! challenge we had to use TEQUILA! Umm, yes please!! I was so excited for this because we love tequila. We have done tequila infusing. We have made cocktails. We have used it for meat marinade. Despite all those things we have done, I have never baked with tequila.
When I think of tequila limes are also brought to mind. Instead of doing the expected Key Lime Pie, I decided to do a twist of a lemon bar/square. Just a lime square seemed a little boring, so I took inspiration from truffles from our favorite chocolatier, Chocoláte, and added a ganache layer. I have lovingly dubbed these bad boys Margarita Bars!
We are huge fans! The three layers have a wonderful balance. The ganache and the filling play so well together. The textures are balance but soft and the crust gives a nice crunch and support to the bar. While everything is well blended, the tequila flavors really shine and pack a punch, especially when your husband wants them for breakfast!

Margarita Bars!
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 2/3 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 5-6 crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp grated lime zest
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 shot (1.5 to 2 oz) of silver tequila (or less to your liking, I wouldn't recommend more than 2 oz)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F and an 8x8 inch cake pan by brushing it with melted butter and then lining it with a piece of parchment paper with a little bit of overhang.
  2. Prepare the crust by pulsing crackers, almonds, and cocoa powder in a food processor. In a separate bowl combine the zest and sugar. Add the graham cracker mixture to the sugar and then add butter. Mix together by hand.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for about 8 – 12 minutes until slightly brown. When the crust is done, let it cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes. If you want to speed the cooling along, stash it in the fridge or even freezer for a short time.
  4. Place 4oz of chocolate in a medium size bowl. GENTLY heat the whipping cream to boiling. Add the boiling cream to the bowl with the chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Then start stirring in one direction with a whisk until it combines and all the chocolate is melted. It will look smooth and shiny.
  5. While the crust and ganache are cooling, pour the condensed milk into medium bowl, add the egg yolks and whisk together. Pour tequila into a glass measuring cup then add lime juice until you have 1/2 cup of tequila and lime juice. Whisk into the egg and condensed milk mixture.
  6. Once the ganache is cooled spread it on the cooled crust with a spatula or frosting spreader to make the layer of chocolate. Place the chocolate lined crust in the fridge or freezer to harden for 15 minutes.
  7. Once cooled a second time, pour in the filling and bake for 25 minutes at 350. Take out of oven and cool on a wire rack, then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour before serving. The bars will lift out of the pan using the parchment. 
  8. Cut into squares using a serrated knife and serve! Berkeley enjoyed his for breakfast with a cup of espresso


Lisa Johnson said...

Those look so yummy, I wish I could have dairy :( I had the hardest time with this challenge and chose an old favorite rather than getting really creative like you did!!!

Deb said...

I like the combination of flavors you did... gotta love chocolate!

Paula Jones said...

Looks good girl, we did have the same concept and ended up w/ totally diff recipes.

Angela Rando said...

I love that you added chocolate! These sound like the perfect breakfast to me! :-)

Ashley Armstrong said...

Thanks. We are big fans of tequila and chocolate. The chocolatier I mentioned in the post does amazing things with chocolate and liquor including a Tequila Truffle ( That's what first got me thinking about mixing the two. They were great as breakfast!

Ashley Armstrong said...

Thanks! It is a favorite combo in our house!

Ashley Armstrong said...

Thanks! They were great. I wonder if they could be made with dairy alternatives. Might be something for me to look into and try! I thought that your tea cakes were pretty creative. I had never seen something like that before!

Julie Murkerson said...

These look delicious! Thanks for participating in Spiked!

Julie @ This Gal Cooks

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