Nicki Trench's recipes for homemade, old-fashioned sweetie treats are perfect as presents
or make them with the kids and keep them for yourselves...
These delicious bites have just the right mix of a crunchy base, succulent caramel and chocolate topping that just melts in your mouth. Make plenty – they will disappear very quickly!
- for the shortbread:
- 55 g (2 oz) cornflour
- 225 g (8 oz) plain flour
- 55 g (2 oz) icing sugar
- 225 g (8 oz) unsalted butter
- for the caramel:
- 115 g (4 oz) butter
- 115 g (4 oz) sugar
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 175 g (6 oz) tin of condensed milk
- to decorate:
- 115 g (4 oz) milk chocolate
- grated white chocolate (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Line a 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 in) Swiss roll tin with lightly greased baking parchment.
- To make the shortbread, blend all the ingredients in a food processor or mix with a wooden spoon. When the dough is well mixed, bring together using your hands and press into the lined tin. Prick the shortbread base with a fork and bake for about 15 minutes.
- To make the caramel, put all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat slowly until the butter is fully melted. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously for 8–10 minutes.
- Test to see if the mixture has reached the soft ball stage (drop a small amount of mixture into a glass of cold water – if it forms a ball, the mixture is ready) or 116°C (240°F) on a sugar thermometer. Cook for a few minutes and then remove from the heat. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and spread evenly. Leave to set.
- When the caramel is completely set, melt the milk chocolate in a bain-marie or put it in a small bowl set over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Don't let the bowl touch the water. Heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Spread the chocolate over the caramel.
- To decorate, either grate white chocolate over the top or score with a fork when the chocolate has cooled slightly. When the chocolate has set, cut into small bite-sized squares. These are best eaten straight away, but will keep for a few days stored in a biscuit tin.
Sweet Temptation by Nicki Trench is published by Cico Books and is available, for £9.99 hardback, from all good bookshops.
- words Nicki Trench
- photos David Merewether