I have a confession to make. Now it may not seem outrageous or scandalous to you but in the world of a pastry chef it's something I want to keep hush-hush. My secret?? I love candy bars. Not the single origin organic dark chocolate kind that professional pastry chefs will tell you they like but the impulse buy at the grocery check out kind...the sweet, gooey, crunchy fake chocolate kind. It doesn't matter if it's a KitKat or a Coffee crisp, peanut butter cups or Twix, if I'm craving chocolate and I'm at the cash register I'll pick up one (or two)!
Which brings me to todays recipe. I was indulging in a Twix bar - all chocolate, caramel and biscuit goodness - when I thought about how I could use the elements that make the candy bar into a dessert that I would proudly serve to friends and family. This is what I enjoy about being a pastry chef - taking elements from different recipes and putting them together to create something even better. This uses the shortbread cookie recipe from March, a chewy caramel centre I use when making chocolates and and easy glazing chocolate to top it off. Voila! A sweet treat to have with your tea or coffee that is crispy, chewy and chocolatey all in one. Enjoy!!
Use the shortbread recipe from March. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment and press the dough evenly into the bottom. Prick with a fork and bake approximately 20 minutes at 300F or until the edges are golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Chewy caramel filling (this makes a little more than you need):
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cups Lyle's golden syrup
1/2 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup whipping or heavy cream
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Heat the cream in a small saucepan and set aside. Combine the sugar, syrup, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Stir to combine then wash down the sides of the pan with a silicone pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals. Bring the sugar mixture to a boil and then, using a candy thermometer, bring the syrup up to 300F - this should take about 10 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and let the mixture stop bubbling. Whisk in the hot cream slowly - the mixture will bubble up so be careful! Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and stir until smooth. Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly while bringing the mixture up to 240F. Remove the caramel from the heat and let the mixture stop bubbling. Pour caramel over the shortbread crust and allow to set either at room temperature or in the fridge.
6 oz finely chopped 70% dark chocolate or your favourite bittersweet chocolate
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave or over a double boiler. Spread over cooled caramel and allow to set.
When set, cut into desired shape and enjoy!!