Catching July on the cusp, here I am. I’m currently working with a lot of cookbooks and so I thought I would try to get back into baking (I haven’t really baked since the last post on here, would you believe?) and bake an actual recipe without playing with it too much? I still added cinnamon to cut through the caramel layer, but I followed Nadiya’s recipe to a tee from her new book otherwise. Looking forward to bringing these into the office on Monday if I don’t manage to scoff all of these!
Her original recipe makes these in a bun tin, but I wanted teeny bites because I find that caramel is quite sickly if I commit to a big biscuit. Tiny desserts also make for excellent sharing, and I might have to recreate these for a barbecue I’m going to next week!
For the shortbread layer:
180g plain flour
125g cubed butter, room temp
55g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
For the caramel layer:
75g unsalted butter
75g soft brown sugar
half a 375g tin of condensed milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp rock salt
For the chocolate layer:
100g melted dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 190˚C/170˚C Fan/Gas Mark 5
Starting with the shortbread, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the salt and flour and mix through until it has just come together, then knead a few times on a well-floured board. I preferred to make this dough in my food processor, but it’s easy by hand also.
Chill the dough for at least 15 minutes before rolling out and stamping circles (if you are using a bun tin) or press small balls of the dough into the bottom of lined mini cupcake tins. Prick with a fork and cook for 15-20 minutes.
When the shortbread are out of the oven, start making the caramel. Melt the butter and sugar in a pan on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and it isn’t grainy. Mix in the cinnamon, then pour in half a tin of condensed milk and stir well. The mixture will take around 5 minutes to thicken, then you can spoon the mixture into your cupcake cases on top of the shortbread, sprinkle with salt and let them cool and set for 30 minutes to an hour.
Once your caramel has set, melt some chocolate in a microwave or over a pot of boiling water and transfer to a piping or sandwich bag. Snip the corner off and pipe the chocolate onto each cup, tapping on the countertop to level it out and get a smooth top. Leave at room temperature for another hour or two until set, (Nadiya says to chill in the fridge but I don’t like how that makes the chocolate ‘sweat’ when it’s out of the fridge.)
Then eat, enjoy and share (if you must!)
This is a fiddly recipe but it’s a fun thing to do on a weekend when you just want to busy yourself. The shortbread is light and crumbly, and the caramel and dark chocolate work well together so that they aren’t too rich. My house smells like buttery caramel from making it too, so it’s worth it for the aroma alone!
Feel free to get creative with how you flavour these, cinnamon, ginger, chilli (careful) or nutmeg would go great with these, added into any of the layers! Would love to make these again with a ginger base and a lime dark chocolate!
Until next time, keep baking,
Love Sian xxx
(Recipe not my own: taken and adapted from Nadiya’s British Food Adventure, published by Michael Joseph, £20)