Friday, 7 April 2017

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Fudge Squares

I found myself with half a tin of caramelised condensed milk, and no idea what to make with it. One thing that kept coming up, however inventively I worded my internet searches, was Millionaires' Shortbread, and similar bakes. The problem with many ready-made caramel products is that they often aren't thick enough to work really well in things like Millionaires Shortbread - I hate cutting into something only to see the caramel squidge out all over the plate.

However, the recipes made me wonder if mixing the caramel with melted chocolate would mean that it set more solidly after baking, and decided that it couldn't hurt to try. I then decided to pair the chocolate-caramel mixture with my favourite, really easy, shortbread recipe - from Sue Lawrence's 'On Baking' - and ended up with the components of a Millionaires' Shortbread with much less work. I also added some salt flakes and some hazelnuts for extra flavour.

170g unsalted butter
85g caster sugar
170g SR flour
170g semolina
60g coarsely chopped hazelnuts
pinch salt flakes

filling - 200g caramelised condensed milk, at room temperature
100g of plain chocolate (the darker the better - I used Willie's Chef's Drops; although they are just 70% cocoa solids they are quite bitter when eaten on their own, so ideal for adding to caramel)
1/2 teaspoon salt flakes

Pre-heat the oven to 190C and line a 20cm (8") square baking tin with baking parchment, using one piece of paper to come up the sides of the tin too.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow  to cool a little, if necessary, to around 40C (blood heat). Mix in the caramelised condensed milk and the salt.
Melt the butter and sugar together, either in a large bowl in the microwave, or a large pan on the hob. Add the flour and the semolina and mix everything together to give a crumbly rubble.
Put 2/3 of the mixture into the baking tin and spread evenly, pressing down firmly so that it looks like a sheet of dough rather than rubble.
Spread on the chocolate mixture, stopping just short of the edges.
Mix the hazelnuts into the remaining dough, and sprinkle this over the contents of the baking tin, this time only pressing down lightly.
Sprinkle over a pinch more salt, then bake for 30 minutes until the topping is firm and golden.
Leave for 30 minutes to give the chocolate layer time to set a bit, then mark into squares. Leave in the baking tin until completely cold, as the squares are too fragile to move while hot.

These were really tasty! The centre was rich and fudgy, but because it was a thin layer it didn't seem over-sweet. The shortbread layers were, as usual, crisp, but with a 'melt-in the mouth' delicacy. The added salt was just the right amount and the hazelnuts added to both the texture and flavour. 

These weren't quite successful as replacement for Millionaires' Shortbread, with it's separate layer of caramel, as the caramel flavour wasn't really strong when mixed with the chocolate, but what this means is that these could probably be made with basic condensed milk to give the same fudgy filling, without much loss of flavour.

I'm adding these to April's We Should Cocoa link-up, over at Tin and Thyme. Choclette doesn't set a theme for this link-up - any recipe, using any form of chocolate is welcome.


Snowy said...

Caramel and melted chocolate - delicious! They look so good.

Choclette said...

Well I think you're a genius Suelle. I find Millionaire's shortbread way to sickly, but your slices sound divine with the dark chocolate and caramel mixed together. I rather like the idea of using semolina in the mix too and hazelnuts are always welcome. Thanks for sharing such gorgeous treats with We Should Cocoa.

I'm a bit of a salted caramel addict!