So as you all know by now, I make a lot of treats and baked goods. Of course I don’t eat ALL of it. I wish I were one of those people who could eat whatever they like and remain whippet like. I haven’t resembled a whippet since 1995. However, every so often I make something that really gets under my skin. I then tend to give it teenage music treatment – you know, where you play a record to death upon buying it? These are one of those bakes that I can’t stop making. They are good… I can only apologise.
More recipes like this in my book, Recipes from a Normal Mum, out now… on Amazon, at Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets.
I made a lovely video with the Scoff folks to show off how to make this traybake. You can see the vid on my YouTube channel and also the Scoff one. You can watch it below too.
One year ago: Chocolate hazelnut truffles and a Delicious microwave Christmas pud
Two years ago: Mini Yorkshire pudding canapes and Christmas pudding fizz and Brandy butter icing and Lemon drizzle secrets
Three years ago: Lime meringue pie with chocolate pastry and Christmas scones and Ginger cake with gingerbread Christmas cottage and Bonfire night treacle toffee and My festive take on cheesecake
Four years ago: Moonuts (forget cronuts… these are fab and much easier), Cheese biscuits and Parsnip soup and a Steamed cherry and pecan pudding
Makes a minimum of 12 squares
- 175g butter
- 85g caster sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 15g cocoa
- 225g pecans, half roughly chopped
- 150g dark chocolate, finely chopped
For the caramel:
- 90g butter
- 215g soft, light brown sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 397g condensed milk
- 155mls double cream
Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm tray with non-stick parchment that reaches up the sides. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the flour and cocoa and beat again. Press into the prepared tin using clingfilm on the top and a tin to get an even base, then chill for 1 hour. Whilst the shortbread is chilling, toast the pecans in a frying pan over a low heat until lightly browned. Pour onto a plate to cool.
Next make the caramel… first, choose a method.
Microwave method: Make the caramel mix the butter, sugar and salt in a microwave proof bowl and microwave on high until the butter has melted – about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the condensed milk, stir and microwave for a further 3 minutes. Stop half way through to stir well. Add the double cream, stir well and microwave for 30 seconds. Leave to cool a little.
Hob method: Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the salt and sugar and stir. Add the condensed milk, stir well and turn the heat up until the mixture bubbles. Keep stirring on a medium heat like this for 3 minutes. Add the cream, stir well and return to the heat for 1 minute, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat.
Scatter the pecans over the shortbread along with the chopped chocolate, then pour over about 600g of the caramel sauce – enough to cover the nuts completely and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for 25 – 30 minutes. The top of the caramel will bubble up and crisp, the caramel underneath will remain soft. (Keep the remaining caramel in a jar in the fridge and pour over ice cream or crumble).
Allow to cool and then chill the traybake in the fridge for 4 hours before cutting.
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Hi Holly Do you think this would work with a tin of the Carnation caramel rather than making your own? Thanks
It could well do but I haven’t tried it myself. x
If i wanted to make a plain shortbread base instead of chocolate, do I just leave out the cocoa or do I need to add more flour? I’ve never baked anything before but have to make these!!!
Just replace cocoa with more flour! x
These look amazing Holly! Do you think it would work as well with gf flour?
I am afraid I am no expert on GF flour so wouldn’t like to say. sorry not to be of more help. X
On cold and tiring days like these, I could really do with a tray of those salty-sweet bites of crunch with some green tea. x
Yes, me too. Now if I can just find someone to make then for me that would be perfect! x
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