Monday, 9 June 2014

Salted caramel shortbread

It's wedding season. For a cake maker running a bakery this means one thing - cakes, cakes and more cakes. I'm not complaining though, far from it. In fact, life seems more structured when I'm busy as I fall back on my trusty to-do lists, but actually my blogging hiatus for the past month has helped me manage my work and get things back on track. You can see all the cakes I've been working on here!
Meeting couples months (or years!) before their big day is so exciting but as the date approaches my mind is filled with their cake design and I almost get over excited to see the finished product! I have a few weddings coming up this month where the cake has been agreed months in advance and now its up to me to make it a reality.
And to cope with the inevitable sleepless nights getting my workload finished, I need treats. Sweet treats overloaded with butter, sugar and vanilla. Nothing else will suffice.
I believe I have mentioned my sweet tooth just a *few* times and my ultimate favourite treat is Millionaire's Shortbread. I could eat that for the rest of my life. But one thing that has always annoyed me about it is when you eat it you get the inevitable chocolate squishing down into the caramel layer. This caramel armageddon inevitably concludes with uneven shortbread consumption - and I for one can't stand it. I want even bites of all 3 layers in one mouthful, is that too much to ask?
I decided to play with this concept when making a batch recently and I defied convention and put the chocolate IN BETWEEN the caramel and shortbread resulting in a very pleasant and even eating experience. I also played with the flavours slightly and added some sea salt to my caramel. OH MY DAYS. If you haven't tried salted caramel yet then please do so. Now.
I need to play with the salt ratios a bit more, but make it to taste. If your caramel isn't salty enough after setting, do what I did and sprinkle some over the top. You won't regret it.
For the shortbread
  • 225g plain flour
  • 175g unsalted butter (cold, cut into cubes)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the filling
  • 300g milk chocolate
For the caramel
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 2tsps sea salt
  • 1 x tin condensed milk (approx 397g can)
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 9in square cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Combine the flour and butter cubes in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can rub it in by hand but make sure your butter, and hands, are cold or it will melt in your fingers! Add in the caster sugar and vanilla bean paste and pulse again until combined.
  3. Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake the shortbread for 30mins or until very light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool, melt chocolate and pour over the shortbread layer. Chill in fridge and allow chocolate to set before making the caramel. 
  6. Heat the sugar and butter in a pan. Gently stir, until fully melted. Add 1tsp sea salt.
  7. Add the condensed milk and bring to a rapid boil, stirring continuously. Cook for 5mins until the caramel has thickened. Pour the caramel over the chocolate layer. Cool for 15mins then sprinkle over remaining sea salt - if you do this too soon it'll absorb into the hot caramel so leave a bit of time before your sprinkle it over!
  8. Once cool, cut into 16 equal pieces. Keep them small as it's a rich treat!
 photo liana_zps73adbf6c.png

1 comment:

  1. I can't even believe how much of a genius you are lady! Amazing!!

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