Otherwise known as caramel slice, delve into this timeless favourite that is a delicious combo of crunchy, biscuity base, gooey caramel filling and glossy chocolate coating. The addition of salted peanuts only makes an already very good thing even better. This does make an admittedly large batch but you can easily just halve everything and bake it in a smaller dish.
- 225 g (1⅔ cup) plain flour
- 80 g (⅓ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- 175 g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 x 395 g cans sweetened condensed milk
- 115 g (½ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
- 100 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g salted peanuts
- 400 g dark chocolate, chopped
- 75 g unsalted butter, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 30 cm x 20 cm x 3 cm baking tin with baking paper.
For the base, combine the flour and sugar a bowl. Using your fingers, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Press the mixture evenly over the base of the tin then bake for 20 minutes or until firm and light golden. Cool.
For the filling, combine all the ingredients except the peanuts in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened, taking care as it will burn easily. Pour over the base, smoothing it evenly over the top. Scatter the peanuts over evenly, pressing them gently in to the caramel. Set aside until cool.
For the topping, combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl large enough to fit snugly over a saucepan of simmering water, without the base of the bowl touching the water. Place over the simmering water for about 5 minutes or until the chocolate and butter are melted, then stir the mixture until smooth.
Pour topping over the caramel filling, smoothing the surface evenly. Cool for about 1 hour or until nearly set then refrigerate to cool completely. Use a hot knife (see Note) to cut into squares, rectangles or triangles to serve.
• Dip the blade of a sharp knife in hot water, then dry completely, before using to cut the shortbread. This will help prevent cracks in the chocolate topping.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
When she doesn’t have her head in the pantry cupboard, Leanne Kitchen finds time to photograph food and write cookbooks. You can view her work on her website.