At this stage I think I hold the title of the Traybake Queen! Not that I think it’s something I should be really proud of as they tend to be slightly easier than lots of cakes etc so I am a bit of a lazy baker, but you know what…. I’ve had no complaints yet! From my Rocky Road & Peanut Butter Squares to my latest Millionaire’s Shortbread, people ALWAYS compliment me on my traybakes….especially E, it has to be said! (He knows where his bread is buttered!)
I adore Millionaire’s Shortbread / Caramel Squares – whatever you call them, they taste great! Making the caramel has always been an issue for me though, I always seem to overdo it and end up with something more like toffee than caramel. One batch I made almost broke my tooth 😦
But this time I got the timing right – and they tasted close to perfect! Between myself and E over one weekend we devoured so many that we had to give the rest away to his brother and Mam just to get them out of our sight. You have been warned – they are good! So here we go…
For the Base:
175g Plain flour
55g Caster Sugar
Filling & Topping:
115g Caster Sugar
3 tablespoons Golden Syrup
400g tinned condensed milk
200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 or if you have a fan oven, approx. 160°. Grease and line the base of a shallow square caking tray or cake tin, approx. 9 inches.
2.You can do the base in a food processor or the long way around like me if you don’t have one! For those who do, throw the butter, flour and sugar into the processor and process until it begins to bind together. If you don’t have one you’ll need to do this in your mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or similar.
3. Tip the mixture into the prepared tray and smooth the top then bake for 20-25 minutes or until it’s a golden colour.
4. When you are 5 minutes from taking the base from the oven, begin to make your filling. Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk in a saucepan and heat gently on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. You need to stir the mixture constantly!
5. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 6-8 minutes until the mix starts to become quite thick. Don’t make the mistake I originally made and wait for it to be like thick caramel before you take it from the heat. When it cools it will thicken even more and you’ll be left with something like toffee. So take it off when it’s thickened but not a VERY thick mixture. Don’t even try to taste this now by the way – it will burn the tongue off you!
6. Leave it to cool for 5 minutes and then pour over the shortbread base. Chill in the fridge for a while until set.
7. Melt the chocolate and then pour over the chilled caramel. Throw the whole lot back in the fridge now for a couple of hours to set. Try to cut it up before it’s rock hard though as the chocolate will all break up.