Chocolate Shortbread with Salted Caramel
If you thought I was being all too healthy and that my recipes were lacking some gluttonous, chocolate based recipe, then fear not! (Dad , I know you are reading this and these are coming home today – I won’t make you eat dried fruit infused biscuits with ‘bird food’) I now provide you with a cheeky treat which tastes awesome and is very moreish. I did use wholegrain flour and soft brown sugar because that is what was in my cupboard, but you can easily use plain flour and caster sugar.
I based my recipe on measurements from Paul Hollywood’s buttery shortbread recipe from his How to Bake book.
225g butter (at room temperature)
110g unsweetened cacao powder
Pinch of salt
Mr Hollywood says grease/line two trays, but I only needed one. Cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix together until the ingredients are all combined. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until soft.
Put the dough into the tray and press and roll until it is even in the tray. Prick the surface with a fork and put the tray into the fridge. Allow the dough to chill for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Bake the shortbread for 20-30 minutes. Because the dough is brown it is hard to tell when the biscuits are going ‘golden’. I took mine out too early (at 20 minutes) and the biscuits ended up being a little doughy (but still tasty – why I LOVE baking). Mr Hollywood cuts the shortbread dough into its individual biscuits prior to baking, hence they may take less time to bake. I prefer to cut them afterwards.
When the edges start to crack in the oven, this is a sign the biscuits are nearly done.
Take the shortbread biscuits out to cool and after a minute or two, slice the biscuits into fingers (or whatever shape you wish). Allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile make the caramel sauce.
Melt the sugar in a pan. It gets VERY HOT – be careful! Add the butter and mix constantly until it has melted. Take it off the heat and add the cream gently. Sprinkle some salt into the mix. Allow to cool a little.
Take a teaspoon and flick the caramel over the chocolate shortbread. Pop the shortbread into the fridge and allow it to cool.