I've recently joined the UK Food Bloggers' Association, which was set up by Julia from A Slice of Cherry Pie. I've posted over at the UFBA blog tonight, and if you want to find out more about me, you can read my introductory post here.
Not long ago, Hubby asked me if I could make him some caramel shortbread. Could I? I love the stuff, so an excuse to make it was very welcome, especially safe in the knowledge that it wouldn't hang around for me to eat if he wolfed it down! I'd never made it before, having a bit of a fear of boiling a tin of condensed milk for hours on end. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I would forget and let it boil dry. When I discovered that 'Nestlé' sell tins of 'Carnation' condensed milk already prepared into caramel 'Duche de Leche', I was thrilled. I used my regular shortbread recipe for the base, which features one of my favourite ingredients, fine semolina, but if you don't have any, just up the quantity of plain flour to 240g. I use unsalted butter for just about everything, but always make shortbread with salted butter. I just seems to taste better that way. As for the chocolate, use what you like. I prefer a half-and-half mixture of dark and milk chocolate - just break 150g of each into a bowl and stir together once they've melted.
200g plain flour
40g fine semolina
100g icing sugar
200g soft butter, diced
397g condensed milk dulce de leche
I make shortbread in my KitchenAid, just paddling everything together until it comes right. You can blast it in the processor, or take the long way round by stirring the dry ingredients together and then rubbing in the butter. Gently knead it into a softish dough.
Press the dough into a greased and base-lined 23cm square tin. Prick it all over with a fork and bake at 150°c. Cool it completely in the tin, then spread over the dulce de leche. Chill for about 30 minutes, then melt the chocolate in the microwave and pour this over the top. Spread it out carefully, then chill until just set. Remove from the tin and cut it into squares (or vice versa, depending on what sort of tin you have).
We had good old pasta and meatballs tonight - I got hold of some linguine (which I love) so I used that and Christopher had great fun getting himself into a mess with it all. We had garlic bread to go with it, and grated parmesan to scatter over.