This has to be one of my all time favourite sweet treats, something my mum can throw together with her eyes closed after years of providing the WI market stall with it, but i’d never attempted it before.
Once again, Christmas fair duties were calling, this time for Arlo’s playgroup so I decided to bake this moreish and ridiculously calorific treat.
Despite my nerves at messing it up, it turned out really well. So well it was incredibly hard to package it up and not scoff the lot.
It sold out very quickly… I reckon it’s one of those classic bakes that will always go down a storm as an afternoon tea treat or packaged up as a gift. Go on, you know you want to try it….
Chocolate caramel squares
For the shortbread
250g plain flour
75g golden caster sugar
For the caramel
2 x 397g cans condensed milk
100g soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
For the topping
200g milk or dark chocolate (I used milk, but dark is a good option and less sickly)
50g white chocolate
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Mix the flour and sugar together and then rub in the butter with your fingertips – or blitz in food processor if you have one. Bring together into a dough and then press into a prepared swiss roll tin. Prick all over with a fork. Bake in the oven for 20 mins until golden. Leave to cool.
2. Gently heat the ingredients for the caramel in a pan on the hob for 15-20 mins on a low heat until it thickens. Cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the shortbread. Leave to cool completely.
3. Melt the dark/milk chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour over the cooled caramel and spread out to form an even layer.
4. Melt the white chocolate and then pour into a disposable piping bag, snip off the end and then pipe thin lines across the surface of the milk/dark chocolate. Drag a cocktail stick across the lines to form the pretty pattern.
5. Leave to set for 30 minutes until it’s dry to the touch then cut into even squares.
Tips: I didn’t put it in the fridge at any point during the process until i’d sliced it up at the end. I’d read that the chocolate tends to harden too much, so cracks excessively when you try and slice it.
When you make the caramel, be sure to let it cook long enough to thicken adequately – I’ve read lots of messageboards where people can’t get theirs to set. Also make sure you stir it lots so it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan and spoil.
Happy Christmas everyone and I hope you all have a wonderful festive weekend