I love caramel shortbread (you might have guessed as it was one of the first recipes I posted on here) but it can sometimes be a bit tooth-achingly sweet. Using dark chocolate spiked with chili, fragrant spices in the buttery shortbread base and a generous pinch of sea-salt in the rich caramel adds a bit more interest to this layered tea-time delight.
You might have already seen this recipe in the Cook supplement of The Guardian when it won the recipe swap!
I use the following as my spice blend but you can tweak it to suit your own tastes: 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, pinch of ground coriander
150g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp chai spice mix
40g soft brown sugar
270g condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp sea salt
200g dark chocolate
pinch of cayenne pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 150°c and lightly grease a baking tin. You can pretty much use any shape/size tin you like, it’ll only make a difference to the thickness of the layers.
Cream together the butter and sugar and then sift in the flour, cornflour and spices and rub it in to create a mixture like fine breadcrumbs. Press this firmly into the base of your prepared tin and bake it for 15 minutes before leaving to cool.
Combine the condensed milk, brown sugar and butter in a medium pan and melt it all together over a low heat. Give it stir and increase the heat a little to bring it to a gentle boil. It should have thickened a little and darkened in colour a bit.
Pour the warm caramel over the cooled shortbread and leave to set.
For the final layer simply melt together the chocolate and chili and then spread it over the caramel layer. Leave to set before slicing.