Chocolate Caramel Squares

Chocolate Caramel Squares

Food of my youth. These are becoming my trademark offering, loved by everyone.  These are now somewhat ubiquitous in the U.K. and available in every store but the home made version is still something special.  I find the caramel is still tricky and occasionally separates just as it has reached the required color.  If this happens take the mixture of the heat and beat for a few minutes and it should return to a smooth caramel.

chocolate caramel squares
Base
  • 1 2/3 cups of all purpose  flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar ( I put a whole vanilla pod in my sugar container so there is always a subtle vanilla flavor)
  • 1 2/3 sticks of butter ( I always use salted, so add salt if you do not)
Filling
  • 13/4 sticks butter
  • 379g tin condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup
  •  10oz Chocolate  ( I use half of a Trader Joe’s Belgian MILK chocolate block..experiment)
  • 1/4 sheet baking tray,

Method

Preheat oven to 350.
Add the flour and sugar to a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture starts to come together, I use my Kitchenaid and mix everything until the dough starts to come away from the side.  Tip the mixture into the tin and press evenly over the base.  Prick with a fork and cook for 5 mins then lower oven to 300.  Cook for a further 35-40 mins until a golden brown.
For the filling melt the  butter and then add condensed milk and syrup.  Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a slow boil.  Continue to stir, adjusting the heat as necessary, until the mixture has thickened and turned a light golden brown.  Pour this over the cooled shortbread and leave to set.
Melt the chocolate and spread over the fudge mixture.  Once set, cut the caramel shortbread into pieces.  Okay so this last part you can make as easy or as hard as you wish.  If you can temper the chocolate it makes for a wonderful shiny finish, sadly it is horribly complicated and not always successful so my advice is to refrigerate the tin once you have poured the chocolate over and try to catch it before the chocolate has set completely.  At this stage divide the tin into equal pieces, I generally make 48 squares per tin.
I also normally make a double batch when I am making this recipe, and freeze the other tin for later.
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