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Chocolate and salted caramel squares

I’ve had a few recipes saved up for the time when we don’t have a kitchen, and this is one of them. I apologise if you’re trying to be healthy there are some links to healthier things at the bottom of this post! The original title of this recipe (which I found on the BBC website) is ‘Salted chocolate and caramel squares’ – but as you can see, I’ve changed it slightly as it makes far more sense to me this way around! Whatever you decide to call them, this is a delicious twist on the traditional millionaire’s shortbread and the almonds and vanilla in the base are simply delicious. The caramel here is fairly runny and I could not get it to thicken up, so next time I make it I might use the recipe that I use for millionnaire’s flapjack with the addition of some salt. But if you prefer your caramel slightly thinner, this works just fine (and it tastes delicious anyway!). 

 

Ingredients

 

For the base
2 tbsp butter, for greasing
175g/6oz plain flour
25g/1oz cornflour
50g/2oz golden caster sugar
85g/3oz finely chopped toasted almonds
140g/5oz unsalted butter
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

 

For the caramel
225g/8oz golden caster sugar
100ml/3½fl oz water
150ml/5fl oz single cream
50g/2oz butter, cubed
½ tsp salt

 

For the topping
225g/9oz dark chocolate, 70 per cent cocoa solids
85g/3oz butter

 

Method
1. For the base, preheat the oven to 160C/310F/Gas 3. Grease a 20cm x 23cm/8in x 9in baking tin with butter.

 

2. Sift the flour, cornflour and sugar into a large bowl. Stir in the almonds, then rub in the butter and vanilla seeds.

 

3. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared tin. Transfer to the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow to cool.

 

4. For the caramel, place the sugar and water into a heavy-based pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until it turns dark amber.

 

5. Stir in the cream, taking care as it will bubble up. Stir in the butter and salt. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and leave to cool (I put it in the fridge overnight, but a few hours would do it).

 

6. For the topping, melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Pour the chocolate over the caramel and smooth out with a wet palette knife.

 

7. Place into the fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes, until firm. Cut into 16 pieces and serve.

 

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