My signature dish is a combination of chocolate brownie and millionaire shortbread. Sounds complicated but is really easy and you can use the same bowls for each layer so less washing up.
Ingredients for the Base
- 200g Butter
- 50g Cocoa Powder
- 300g Golden Caster Sugar
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 225g Plain Flour
Ingredients for the Caramel Layer
- 75g Golden Caster Sugar
- 125g Butter
- 397g Tin of Condensed Milk
- 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
- 125g Hazelnuts, toasted and halved (or use almonds as they are easier to buy toasted and it’s a sod to take the skins of hazelnuts)
Ingredients for the Topping
- 200g Dark Chocolate (or more if you want a thicker topping). I used cooking chocolate as it is cheaper.
- 1tbsp Sunflower Oil
So altogether that is 325g butter, salted or unsalted doesn’t really matter and 375g golden caster sugar. Super healthy!
Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas mark 3 and line a Swiss roll tin measuring around 20x30cm. Try get some height into the lining paper to hold the topping as it sets. You want to come up about an inch higher than the rim of the tin.
Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and melt the butter for the chocolate base. Stir in the cocoa powder and sugar then mix until smooth.
Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes then stir in the eggs until completely combined. If you don’t leave it a bit then it will scramble. Then stir in the plain flour (this is much easier with an electric whisk).
Pour the chocolate mix into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes until firm on top. Don’t worry if it looks cracked as the top will be covered anyway. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down while you make the caramel layer. Turn off the oven as it is no longer required.
Now it is time for the caramel. Wash out the sauce pan and place it back over a medium heat, melt the butter for the caramel layer into it, then add the condensed milk, golden syrup and sugar. Don’t forget to cut your tongue trying to lick the leftover condensed milk out of the tin. Turn up the heat and cook until the caramel starts to bubble. Once it bubbles turn the heat down and cook it for about 10 minutes until it starts to darken and thicken up. Stir it and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
If it doesn’t darken much then turn it up a bit. This bit of the recipe is much easier than it sounds. Just keep an eye on it and if you get fed up then stop and use what you have.
Once it is done, remove from the heat and stir in the nuts. Spread over the chocolate base as evenly as possible then leave to cool while you make the chocolate topping. You can cheat and buy a tin of caramel for this layer but it doesn’t set very well so you have a very gooey layer that is hard to eat. Tastes nice though.
Now is a good time to wash up as the caramel needs a bit longer to cool than the base. Put some boiling water in the sauce pan and slowly melt the chocolate in the bowl over it. This has the added bonus of washing all the caramel out the pan so you don’t have to do it later.
Once the chocolate has melted stir in the sunflower oil. This sounds yucky but it just gives the chocolate a glossy finish. Then pour it over the top of the caramel layer and smooth it out as best you can.
Now leave to cool down then shove in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to really firm up. It should drop out of the tin really easily and can be chopped up with a big kitchen knife.
Take them into work and everyone will love you.
Other things you can try are to put dried fruit in the caramel instead of nuts or use some milk chocolate instead of plain. You can also cook the base for less time to try get them more sticky.