I flippin love Twix. I scrape the caramel off with my top teeth, then I eat the bottom layer, inch by inch. I can imagine how disgusting I must look.
And it has to be the caramel kind. None of that peanut butter nonsense. The trifecta of crispy shortbread, buttery caramel and milk chocolate are my personal candy nirvana.
So today I bring you Millionaire's Shortbread. It's basically an even more delicious version of Twix, dressed up with homemade caramel, dark chocolate and a sprinkle of flaky Maldon sea salt. The bars take a bit of time, but they are SO worth it. Even cleaning up is great. So many spoons to lick. Especially when you get to the caramel pot. I use apple slices to scoop out every last creamy bit. I'm nothing if not pragmatic.
Recipe is adapted from Ballymaloe's Chocolate and Toffee Squares (Thanks Florrie!)
Salted Millionaire's Shortbread
Yield: Makes one 10" x 15" / 25c x 38c pan
Prep Time: 50 min, including caramel Cook Time: 20 min Total Time: 3 hours, incl cooling
12 oz / 2 c / 350 g self-raising flour
2 sticks COLD salted butter
4 oz / 3/4 c / 100g caster sugar or baker's sugar
6 oz / 1 c / 170 g sugar
2 sticks salted butter
4 Tbs corn syrup
14oz / 400 g can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz / 225 g dark chocolate
Maldon sea salt
Make the shortbread base: Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Cut the cold butter into small cubes. Mix the flour with the sugar, then rub in the butter cubes with your fingers. Or, you can use a food processor and pulse til the dough comes together. Grease your pan, then press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 20 minutes, til the top is just golden.
Now make the caramel: Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat. Stir in the sugar, then the corn syrup, then the sweetened condensed milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, for about 30 minutes. Watch carefully, because the bottom can burn quickly. The caramel is ready when it turns the color of peanut butter. To check it, drop a small blob into cold water - it should form a pliable ball and hold together. Don't cook for too long - it will get really hard and basically pull your teeth out.
Pour the caramel over the shortbread base and allow to cool for about an hour.
Melt the chocolate: Fill a saucepan with water, heat to a simmer, and place a glass bowl over it, so the bottom doesn't touch the water. Break the chocolate into chunks and melt in the bowl, stirring occasionally.
Pour the chocolate over the caramel, and drag a fork through it to make a wavy pattern. Sprink with sea salt. Allow to cool for at least 4 hours. You may need to pop it in the fridge if the weather is warm.
To serve, cut into squares, or fingers if you want the full Twix effect.