Author Notes: Each man to his own I say - Salted caramel a la Francais, Salty Liquorice van de Dutch. The combination of salt in sweets can go either way but there's one flavour that has me dreaming again and again: Salted caramel. How do I describe the perfect balance of sweet, the simplicity of flavours and the absolute wow-factor of this recipe? Crisp shortbread, layered with caramel and topped with melted chocolate. Cooled till the chocolate hardens and cracks when cut, to reveal a flowing smooth layer of caramel (Confiture de lait / dulce de Leche) and then garnished with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Beauty at its peak! The caramel can be bought or made....I bought mine.... —Kitchen Butterfly
Serves: as many as 8...or 1
250g softened butter
85g caster sugar
300g plain flour
2 Tablespoons ground almonds
100g dulce de leche
100g milk chocolate
(Maldon) Salt flakes, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 160 deg Centigrade (325 deg Fahrenheit)
- Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon till soft, about 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the flour, 100g at a time. If the dough becomes too stiff to stir, gently knead in the rest of the flour with your hands
- Grease and ‘flour’ (with the ground almonds) a shallow, round pan (about 2cm deep and 23cm diameter).
- Don’t be too fussed if dough breaks while trying to get it into the pan. Once in pan, press down with your fingers to ensure it is evenly spread out
- Slice through into wedges with a knife by cutting first into halves, then quarters then eights and then prick top the top with a fork
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes in the centre of the oven or until firm to touch…and light brown in colour. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, remove from tin and place on serving plate/stand.
- Spread dulce de leche onto shortbread and spread with a spatula. Then melt chocolate in a bain marie (a bowl set over simmering water in a pan). When melted, pour over dulce de leche and spread out with a spatula
- This is the stage when the chocolate shortbread is covered with a piece of foil and refigerated for the chocolate to harden.
- When hardened and before serving, sprinkle some seasalt flakes over the top. Warm a knife by dipping into some very hot water and slice. Enjoy!
- PS: should you have any bits left over, stir into softened vanilla icecream and serve
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Holiday Confection
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chocolate Cookie