Getting a bit chilly isn’t it? Is there a herd of food bloggers out there who totally love the arrival of cool air? The sooner the cringe worthy gowns and Primarni pyjamas come out the better. I can already smell the tea mug on bed linen Instagrams.
What square of confectionary, weighing in at around 400 calories (don’t be afraid) would best accompany such Instagrams? Salted caramel Millionaires Shortbread. Noticeably.
My first go at this sinful combination was part disaster part success. I used shortbread blitzed in the food processor mixed in with melted butter for the base. On top of that lay burnt caramel, if you’re going to embark on what is essentially a recipe for shortbread on crack, use a heavy bottomed saucepan unless you fancy passing piping hot caramel through a stubborn sieve. Of course, I was extra precarious with the second batch of caramel and OF COURSE, all that gorgeously burnt and salted caramel flavour was nowhere to be seen. Lesson learnt: never compromise taste over appearance.
The melted butter tried desperately to give the first batch a stable structure, but all that surfaced was a crumbly mess. Its better to bite the bullet and go homemade for the base, unless you manage to find a slab of shortbread that somehow sits perfectly into your tray, then we’re all laughing.
Lastly, lets talk salt. If you wanna look in with the kids these days, all you have to do is throw the word ‘salted’ in front of your recipe (not ashamed to say I’m guilty of it, kinda, sorta, am…). But we all know that salted caramel is the only pairing that actually works, so all we’ve done here is squash it between chocolate and shortbread.
Could you imagine if I generously salted those too, how cool would that look/not taste?
Adapted from 3 separate recipes in Leiths Baking Bible
- 230g butter, softened
- 110g caster sugar
- 285g plain flour
- 55g cornflour
- 115g butter
- 120g light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp golden (or corn) syrup
- 2 x 397g condensed milk
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp sea salt
- 300g milk chocolate, 35% minimum
- 50g white chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 170 C and line 17cm rectangular baking tray with baking parchment. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy then sift over flour and cornflour. Beat mixture to form smooth paste. Dump on tray and use the back of a spoon to evenly spread it out. Chill for 20 minutes then bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool, cover and set aside.
- Add everything plus 1 teaspoon of the salt into a heavy bottomed\large saucepan. Cook on low until the butter and sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to medium and stir constantly until the caramel browns, then let the mixture boil rapidly for 5 minutes whilst stirring. If the mixture catches and burns, pass through a sieve to remove dark bits. Pour directly over the cooled shortbread, use a cranked spatula to evenly spread. Sprinkle generously with the rest of the sea salt. Leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Melt milk chocolate over banmerie. While that's melting, melt white chocolate in the microwave in 15 second bursts. Fit piping bag with tiny round nozzle and spoon white chocolate inside. Pour milk chocolate over caramel and smooth the top. Pipe diagonal lines half a centimetre apart over the milk chocolate. Score the lines in a horizontal direction with a toothpick to create feathered pattern. Leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes then serve. The shortbreads last for 5 days!
This weekend Fair Cake exhibited the Cake & Bake Show, so this whole week has been such a gnarly experience albeit slightly exhausting. Who knew so much went into exhibiting? Did you visit the Cake + Bake? Did you visit our stand? How awful was that 'cake catwalk' ?
Love Em xx