If you read my post last week, you will have noted that I had problems with recipe I was desperate to make as it just sounded sooooo delicious. So this week, with a few alterations from the original recipe, I’ve done it and yes, it is good!
Still on our holidays at Granny and Pampa’s, I have had more time to cook because of the extra hands to help out with the wee ones and have had willing Guinea Pigs for the various sweet and savoury recipes which I’ll be posting soon – so keep watching this space!
Unsurprisingly, given the capture of a certain Libyan Colonel this week, work has been on my mind, particularly knowing (with a little jealousy) that this will impact greatly on the work load of my colleagues. With Gadaffi dead it is likely that many of my clients in Aberdeen will be looking at entering or re-entering the Libyan market, which will make for interesting times when I finish my maternity leave at the start of next year! If you are interested in what is going on in Libya right now, sign up for a free copy of the Weekly Libya Report prepared by my colleagues.
A low point of this week has also been work related, with the difficulty I have experienced sorting out childcare for when I go back! I really think there should be more help with childcare costs for young working families as there is in other European Countries and in Australia. It certainly makes it difficult to find that work-life balance!
Rant over and despite the appalling weather and childcare stresses, we’ve been spending lots of time with family and good friends, making teddy bears, and jumping on bouncy castles - and I, at least, have been eating way more than I should be!
It is obviously apple season and when I saw this recipe in the October issue of my favourite foody magazine, Delicious, I was really keen to make it. Being at Granny’s house in a little village in Lanarkshire, I couldn’t find ground rice in the local shops and nor did Granny have a baking tin of the size detailed in the original recipe. However, I overcame these obstacles only to be thwarted by the caramel recipe which, most likely through fault of my own rather than the recipe, I could not get right. To this end, I resorted to a tried and tested family recipe for caramel, which worked a treat!
Toffee Apple Millionaires Shortbread
200g Butter / Margarine (chilled)
250g Plain Flour
50g Caster Sugar
2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
200ml Condensed Milk
115g Butter / Margarine
115g Caster Sugar
Extra Knob of Butter (for frying apples)
3 Braeburn Apples
150g Dark or Semi-Sweet Chocolate
100g Milk Chocolate Cooking Chocolate
Grease and line a 28cm x 18cm Swiss Roll tin and preheat your oven to 170 oC (150 oC Fan)
Sieve flour into a large bowl or blitz quickly in a food processor.
Chop the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. You can either rub this in with your fingertips or pulse in a food processor. Mix in the caster sugar and work until it all comes together.
Press the shortbread dough into the prepared tin and use a tumbler to even out the surface. Prick all over with a fork and put into the oven. Bake for five minutes before reducing the temp to 150oC (130 oC fan), and baking for a further 40-45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool before adding the caramel.
To make the caramel add the butter, sugar, condensed milk and syrup to a medium sized saucepan and gently melt together, stirring all the time. Bring the mixture slowly to the boil and continue to do so for 7 minutes – and don’t forget to keep stirring!
When you have finished making the caramel, peel, core and thinly slice the apple. In a shallow pan melt a knob of butter and fry the apple until soft and golden. Add the apple to the caramel and mix through.
When the shortbread base is cold, pour the caramel mixture over the shortbread and spread out evenly. Put in the fridge to set.
For the topping, you can, obviously use any combination of chocolate you like, but the gram quantity detailed here should adequately cover the tin size I used. For this, simply melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water. Set the chocolate aside for a few minutes before pouring over the shortbread and caramel to cover.
Leave to set before cutting into squares or slices.
Once, cut up, it is best to keep this in the fridge as it is sticky!
Just FYI, and if you are interested in making the original recipe (which can be found on page 106 of Delicious, October 2011) this may be of use...
The original recipe is as above with the following changes:
Use a 20cm x 20cm tin.
Instead of 250g of plain flour, it calls for 200g plain flour and 50g of Ground Rice (or Semolina).
For the caramel, it instructs as follows:
Add 350g Caster Sugar and 200ml water to a sauté pan, dissolve slowly. Increase the heat and bubble the mixture for 10 minutes until the syrup colours around the edges. Carefully watch the mixture and occasionally shake the pan (but do not stir). Once it has turned a dark caramel colour, pour in 260ml of double cream and mix quickly with a wooden spoon. It also instructs to transfer to a bowl to cool slightly before adding the apples.
Try as I might, I could not get this to work (although I suspect the fault here is mine and not that of the recipe).
Top with 200g or dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids).
Otherwise, the methods as detailed in my version above are the same.