My Mum used to make these for School fetes and Church bazaars - they are absolutely sinful and totally divine! They were everyone's favourite, so I used to zoom around beforehand, with my pocket money burning a hole in my pocket, to make sure I bought some before they all went!! A fun name with delicious layers of shortbread, caramel and a chocolate topping. This recipe has the added surprise of adding stem ginger pieces, which was not usual in my Mum's orginal recipe. These do keep for up to a week in an airtight tin or container.....I have never known them last more then 24 hours however - you WILL have to HIDE them!!! They a great for packed lunches and picnics, as well as with afternoon coffee.
For the base
- 225 g butter shortbread cookies
- 125 g butter, melted
For the filling
- 150 g butter
- 150 g soft brown sugar
- 397 g carnation condensed milk
- 75 g stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped (optional)
For the topping
- 115 g dark chocolate, melted
- 115 g milk chocolate, melted
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- You will need:.
- A square baking tin, 20cm (8”), greased and base-lined with baking parchment or paper.
- To make the base, process the biscuits until they are like crumbs then stir in the melted butter. Spoon this mixture into the tin and, very lightly, press to make an even layer. Chill for 20 minutes.
- Place the butter and the sugar in a nonstick saucepan over a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk and bring gently to the boil, stirring continuously to make a golden caramel, which is thick and yet still coats the back of a spoon.
- Spoon the caramel over the crumb base, cover and leave to to cool for 20 to 30 minutes or until the caramel has thickened.
- Sprinkle the chopped ginger over the caramel base if using. Stir 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil into each bowl of melted chocolate. Pour the dark chocolate over the caramel, spreading it out to the edges. Repeat with the milk chocolate, then swirl them slightly to create a pattern.
- Leave aside to set. When the chocolate has hardened a little, but before it has set hard, cut into slices, and enjoy with a cup of coffee.
- Hide the remaining slices from all other family members and friends!
The key to these little morsels of richness turning out perfectly is making sure you're caramel filling boils long enough. I suspect that didn't happen to my batch as my caramel is really soft and gooey and actually the bars need to be kept refrigerated in order for the caramel to stay somewhat together. I used a graham cracker base (won't do that again either) and also omitted the ginger in syrup. I cut these into little inch squares as you don't need much due to the richness. I can see these bars being a wonderful addition to most holiday trays. Thanks Karen:-) Made to honor FT for all she did in making HolidayTag such a fun game.
I doubled the recipe and made two batches, one with the ginger (used crystalised ginger) and the other without and both were considered outstanding. The caramel was nice and gooey, the biscuit base crisp and rich and the chocolate rich and well set. The recreation supervisor ended up loosing track of how many recipes she had to copy for people to take home. Thanks French Tart for allowing me to impress, made for Everyday A Holiday.
Absolutely GORGEOUS! DH's been pestering me to make these ever since he'd seen your pics in the photo forum 4-5 months ago! I finally put him out of his misery!!! Few changes though, well, with one major change: I don't have an 8" cake tin, so I decided to convert this recipe to fit into a 9"x13" pan! I think I got my calculations right (well, most of it) since the caramel wasn't runny but my base wasn't as thick as yours, as seen in the pic. I didn't add in the ginger since a) I didn't have any ginger in syrup and b) DH had specified "NO ginger"! And for the chocolate topping, I used a mixture of milk and white chocolate since that's what I had. I shared some with our neighbours, got a lot of "hhhmmmm"s from all! Thank you, FT, for sharing this wonderful recipe, definitely a keeper.