Salted Nut Caramel Shortbread


My mum is the best baker I know (everyone says this, but mine is, end of story). This recipe is based on her 'vintage' caramel shortbread recipe aka its "bloody TRIED AND TESTED" her quote, not mine. It's then is spruced up (by me...) with the addition of properly chunky whole roasted sweet & salty nuts.


She is NUTS about nuts so it was the only way I could improve upon her recipe without causing a catfight. And if you know me and my mum, that can happen at the drop of a hat...


No two words about it, these are really very good. The ratio of caramel to shortbread is perfect and they are slavered in a proper layer of dark chocolate alongside chunky salty nuts. Basically, they feel a bit sexier and more grown up in comparison to the nail-bitingly shop-bought ones...


You'll love this recipe, I promise.


Ingredients


Shortbread:

200g plain flour

100g of semolina or rice flour

100g caster sugar

1 tsp fine salt

200g salted cooking butter


Caramel layer:

175g butter

175g sugar

60ml golden syrup

400g condensed milk

3 tsp flaky salt

Chocolate & nut topping:

250g dark cooking chocolate

300g whole nuts

3 tsp flaky salt

70g butter

70g sugar



Method:


Shortbread layer:

  • Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark four.

  • Grease a tin about 20-25cm

  • Put the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, rice flour & salt) into a bowl and mix well

  • Cut up your butter into pieces

  • In a food processor whizz together the dry ingredients and butter, until it forms bread crumbs, you can do this in a bowl by rubbing it together with your hands

  • Transfer to a bowl and bring the crumbs together with your hands to form a dough - it should be "just" holding together - don't worry if it feels dry, it should not feel sticky!

  • Press into the tin, prick all over with a fork and bake for about 15-18minutes, you might want to check it at 15, its done when its a SLIGHT golden colour, but still very similar in paleness to the shortbread dough

  • Remove from oven and allow it to cool completely

Caramel Layer:

  • Put the butter and sugar in a heavy-based pan with the syrup, condensed milk and salt

  • Heat slowly to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar

  • Once sugar is dissolved - turn the heat up and allow the start simmering and bubbling, using a wooden spoon continuously and vigorously mix the caramel to stop it from sticking the bottom of the pan

  • Continue this process, stirring continuously for about 10-15 minutes until the caramel is amber in colour and thick and fudgy, immediately pour over the shortbread

  • Smooth it down with a palette knife and leave to set somewhere cool

  • This should take around 20-25 minutes

  • In the meantime toast your nuts in a heavy-based pan on a mid-high heat - they should start to smell toasted after about 3mins

  • Add your butter, sugar, and salt and continue to toast until they become browned and sticky

  • Remove from the heat, taste - you might want to add more salt here

Chocolate layer:

  • Break your chocolate into chunks and in an ovenproof bowl either melt your chocolate in the microwave in blasts of 40-second increments, stirring every-time OR heat over a bain-marie (a saucepan of simmering water) just ensure the water does not touch the bowl

  • You want the chocolate to have JUST melted - be really careful to not overcook it or it will go lumpy and you will have to start again

  • Once melted, pour it over the caramel layer and immediately sprinkle your nuts

  • Sprinkle with more flaky salt and leave to cool for a good hour

  • Once the chocolate is set and cool you can cut into chunks - a trick to cutting the perfect chunk is heating your knife in boiled water




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