Spooky Salted Caramel Shortbread
This is the second of my Halloween inspired recipes and this one is super easy and so so delicious. Thankfully, salted caramel is still popular and wasn’t just a phase like we all thought, so this recipe is a cheat version of a caramel shortbread – using a tin of caramel resulting in a softer caramel centre making this a little messier than the standard caramel shortbread but I never heard anyone complaining of having fingers covered in sticky, delicious caramel.
Caramel shortbread is a really nostalgic treat for me. My grandma lives in the Isle of Wight. I have been going there ever since I was small. There is a cafe on the pier at Yarmouth called Gossips. I always had, and always will have a caramel slice with a hot drink or milkshake or regret my choice when I decide to be adventurous and try something else. That’s what I love about food – it evokes memory’s and fun times from our childhood, or time spent with family, friends and loved ones. So this is my version, although I’d like to add it doesn’t quite match Gossip’s but it is delicious in its own way.
I used white chocolate to create the cobweb design on top, but this can be eaten any time of year. You could simply marble the milk and white chocolate into a swirly design, or just use milk chocolate for a plain, simple finish.
225g plain flour
175g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
75g caster sugar
1 x 397g tin of Carnation caramel
200g milk Belgian chocolate
A few cubes of white Belgian chocolate
1. Start by making the shortbread base. Rub together the butter and flour with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, and then press firmly into the base of your tin lined with a piece of greaseproof paper. I used an oblong tin, but a 9-inch square tin would work well.
2. Put the caramel into a bowl and mix in 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt then – I ground mine with a pestle and mortar. Pour this caramel mixture onto the cooled shortbread base, spread evenly and place in the fridge to firm up slightly. It won’t go solid as using a tin of caramel results in a softer finish.
3. Remove the shortbread from the fridge and melt your chocolate. You can use a microwave on a low power or melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Once melted, pour the chocolate onto the caramel and smooth over to create an even surface.
4. Melt a few cubes of white chocolate and whilst still warm, using a piping bag pipe semi circles on the melted milk chocolate. Then use a cocktail stick to drag lines across the semi circles to feather the chocolate and create cobweb design. Alternatively, you could simply just pipe lines to create the cobwebs.
Place in the fridge to set, and once the chocolate has hardened, you can cut into small squares, or bars to serve.
This is a very indulgent treat, that is truly delicious to devour with loved ones over the Halloween weekday, or any time of the year when you want a sweet, naughty treat.
After a bit of makeup practice, and some online shopping I think I have sorted my self some kind of outfit for a Halloween party I’m going to. I just hope no one asks what I am, as I’m not too sure myself. I will post a picture next week! I’m aiming for something ‘Day of the Dead’ inspired. We will see…
Enjoy your weekend, whether your raving or behaving.