Crumbly buttery shortbread, a thick layer or sticky sweet caramel and a crack of bitter dark chocolate. What could be better? Well, apparently my boyfriend’s Mum’s version. That said, this batch was due to go into his office, and yet I found a secret supply stashed away in the fridge. Somehow, without my seeing it, he’s worked his way through a whole box in a couple of days. I had to fight for one tiny square. If this is what he does to my substandard shortbread, I’m going to have to try that recipe of his Mum’s!
This is one of my favourite things to make. It always gets a good reaction, like you’ve made something ridiculously impressive, but (shh, don’t tell anyone) it’s actually really easy to whip together. All you need is a little patience stirring your caramel, and a little time to let the layers cool.
This time I’ve gone for a thin layer of dark chocolate to finish off these little morsels, but you really could use any sort of chocolate you like. Fancy a thicker layer? Double up the chocolate. Prefer milk chocolate? Excellent choice. Feeling fancy? Try swirly white and milk chocolate on top.
Stored in the fridge, away from hungry men, it keeps for a few days. Let it come to room temperature before you tuck in to let the caramel start to soften and ooze out the sides.
For the shortbread
125g plain flour
40g caster sugar
For the caramel
397g condensed milk
4tbsp golden syrup
100g bar dark chocolate
First make your shortbread. Mix the sugar and flour together in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the dry ingredients with your fingers until it resembles bread crumbs. Knead it together until you form a dough.
Press it into the bottom of a lined square tin (about 5inches x 5inches). Prick the top with a fork and bake for about 20 minutes, until firm to the touch and just starting to turn golden.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.
Meanwhile, make your caramel. Put the condensed milk, golden syrup and butter into a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to the boil, then keep on a gentle heat stirring continually for 5 – 10 minutes. Don’t worry too much about the timing, go with what you see in the pan. When it’s ready the mixture will be thick, well coating the back of your spoon, and will have darkened.
Pour over the shortbread and cool.
Melt your chocolate and pour over the top. Cool completely.
Cut into bite size squares, or larger slabs, and watch it disappear!