Sunday, 12 November 2017

Homemade Caramel Shortbread



It was my auntie's birthday the other week, and for my gift, I decided to do a little bit of baking. My recipe of choice was...Caramel Shortbread.

Caramel Shortbread has several names including; caramel shortcake, millionaire's slices, millionaire's shortbread and caramel slice. The basis of this recipe is a type of biscuit, which has a shortbread type base, followed by a soft caramel layer, topped with a chocolate layer, and cut into small square bitesize pieces.

There are varying ways to make this lovely bit of goodness, and I chose to follow the recipe on Good Food.

The first step in making the caramel shortbread is to make the shortbread base. This involves rubbing butter, flour and sugar together into a bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs. It is then formed into a dough and pressed into a 'brownie' tin before being baked in a preheated oven. Once this is baked and is slightly golden in colour and firm it can be removed and left to cool.
As you will see from the pictures I kept the shortbread dough quite rustic and uneven when placing it in the tin, as I knew I would find it difficult to keep everything equal and even in size when adding the next layers
There is the first step in making this yummy treat complete!




Once the shortbread is cooled it is time to move onto the yummiest layer in this recipe...the caramel.
This step I slightly deviated away from the recipe after reading the comments from other bakers. I chose to only use one tin of the condensed milk rather than the two listed in the ingredients, as I felt that there would be far too much caramel for the tin size I had, as well as it potentially being a bit too sweet. This part of the recipe can be quite tricky too, as you don't want to overdo the caramel and cause it to burn, but you want to achieve the right colouring to the caramel. Now, I slightly burnt my caramel, causing little brown spots through the caramel, however, it didn't appear to affect the taste or texture to the caramel, and once spread and cooled was not noticeable.
If you want to make the recipe a bit easier, there are tins of caramel which can be bought by Carnation, which you can just spread onto the layer. Personally, I really enjoyed attempting to make my own from the recipe.




After the caramel has completely cooled, it is time for the final stage before cutting it into individual squares...the chocolate layer. For this, I decided to use dark chocolate rather than the recommended plain or milk chocolate. I think it helped with balancing the sweetness from the caramel and worked really well.
I melted the chocolate over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the water did not touch the bowl the chocolate was in. I then tried making ripple marks in the chocolate with the back of a metal spoon. Again I kept the look of the shortcake more rustic than symmetrical. That's the mark of home baking, isn't it?



I left the now made caramel shortbread overnight, covered in the fridge to make sure that it cooled and set before cutting this into squares. As it had just come out of the fridge I found it quite hard to cut, which meant bits of the chocolate layer split unevenly, but as the theme of the bake had been rustic, this didn't bother me. I tried to keep the square sizes as even as possible, but again they were uneven, with the better cut slices being given as a gift, and the less than appealing slices being kept and tried by me. They were delicious!
I was told by my auntie that the slices she had did not last long in her household.





Don't they look delicious?
For the full recipe please see below:

Ingredients:

Shortbread: -
252g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
175g Softened Butter

Caramel: -
100g Butter
100g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 Tin (397g) Condensed Milk

Topping: -
200g Dark Chocolate

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / gas mark 4. Select 'brownie' (9inch) and grease or line with baking paper.

2. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl, rubbing in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Press or knead the dough together and place into your prepared tin, pushing this down into the base. This should be pricked with a fork before being placed into the oven for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown or firm to the touch.

4. Allow the shortbread to cool in the tin.

5. Place the butter, sugar and condensed milk into a pan, heating gently until the sugar has dissolved.

6. Bring to the boil, making sure the mixture is being stirred all the time.

7. Once brought to the boil the mixture should then be simmered gently, and stirred continuously for approximately 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly.

8. When ready, pour the mixture over the cooled shortbread. Allow cooling in the tin before starting the next step.

9. Using a bowl over a simmering pan of hot water, melt the chocolate.

10. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel layer, spreading evenly.

11. Allow to cool and set.

12. Cut the now made shortbread into squares.

13. Enjoy the yummy goodness of your homemade caramel shortbread!

Let me know if you make these, and how they turn out!

As always, thanks for reading,

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