Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chocolate Ganache and Caramel topped Scottish Shortbread - A Guest Blog

Before heading off on all our separate adventures, the assistants of Limoges had a Holiday party and all of us brought a little something to share. Callum (our Scottish assistant) made some amazing shortbread (that I am eager to bake myself) and he kindly agreed to do a guestblog for me. Read and drool.

Whatup yo'? Keen to share a bit of my Scottish culture, I made my version of caramel shortcake for our Christmas party. Caramel shortcake is a very very rich dessert, popular in Scotland. It's a layered cake, made of shortbread biscuit on the bottom, a thick layer of gooey caramel in the middle and then a layer of melted chocolate. It's incredibly rich - so much so it's also known as "millionaires shortcake". Seeing as it's Christmas, I made it even more rich, by substituting the chocolate for a chocolate ganache, made of dark chocolate, butter and cream. Cut up into little squares as in the picture makes an excellent party canapé.

For the base:

4oz Butter, 2oz Castor Sugar and 6oz Self Raising Flour

For the Caramel:

One tin of Condensed Milk (normally by Nestlé), 4oz Butter, 4oz Castor Sugar and 2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup (this isn't vital, but makes the caramel even sweeter)

For the Ganache Topping

6oz Dark Chocolate, 3oz Butter and about 200ml of double cream.


All these measures can be doubled or halved or whatever. None of them have to be exact either...

1. Heat your oven to 180˙C/350˙F. Grease your baking tin, I made mine in a large tart pan and it worked just fine.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy and sieve in flour. Fold this into the mixture.

3. Press this shortcake mixture into the bottom of the tin as evenly as possible and bake it for about 15/20 mins until golden brown.

4. For the caramel, add all the ingredients to a pan. Heat gently until the sugar dissolves and then boil for about 5-10 mins. You MUST stir it constantly or it WILL burn, and the caramel will be full of bitter black bits.

5. Once the caramel is golden, spread it across the base evenly and chill in the fridge to set.

6. For the ganache, the easiest thing yo do is to place it all in a bowl, and blast in the microwave for a bit until melted. Stir it and perhaps heat again until its a smooth, thick, dark and glossy consistency.

7. As soon as the caramel is cooled and set, spread the ganache over the top - it should be thick enough for you to make a kind of rippled effect on the top with a palette knife. While it's still wet you can score the chocolate into portions - a small square is plenty for a portion because its so bloody rich.

8. Place it back in the fridge until set, probably about an hour... To serve, dust with a little icing sugar (I believe you Yankee doodles call that powdered sugar)

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