Here's to food and family and fireworks.
I actually made these a couple of weeks ago, and they were the first thing I brought in to work. Food is universal--everyone eats, and most people like sweets!--so it was a great way to meet more people and share something enjoyable in the middle of the work day.
Though I brought them in when I arrived that morning, I didn't announce their presence until 2 o'clock or so. You gotta wait until the hunger and fatigue strikes, then BAM! make some friends! They're a layer of shortbread, followed by a dulce de leche-like caramel filling, and a chocolate ganache on top.
Anyway, everyone raved. And people were super impressed with the diamond cutting pattern.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret: it takes the same amount of effort as cutting regular squares.
But people think they're fancier. Just like spreading sauce artfully on a plate, or swirling frosting on a cake. Food psychology is almost as cool as food science!
Each layer is simple to make, so though there are three, there's not a ton of waiting between steps. The whole shebang took me about an hour, or a bit over. The original recipe calls for cooking the caramel to a precise temperature, but I did it by look and feel and it still turned out delicious. Make these...and revel in sinking your teeth into something decadent, sweet, and beautiful!
Yield: as many diamonds as you can cut! (9x9 inch pan--I split between two smaller pans with similar area)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon ice water
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 (14-oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup (or dark corn syrup, or honey, or agave...)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x9 inch baking pan with slings of aluminum foil (greased) or parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter, then cut in with a pastry cutter, two forks, two knives, or however your soul tells you is right. I like to grate frozen butter on the biggest holes of a box grater and then fluff everything together!
- Add ice water and egg and mix with a fork until the dough starts to come together in clumps. Press into the pan and bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While the shortbread is baking, get the caramel ingredients ready. Dump everything except the vanilla together in a medium saucepan. When the shortbread has about 5 minutes left, turn on the stove to medium heat and whisk while the sugar dissolves and the caramel cooks. Let it cook until the mixture starts to boil around the edges, then keep whisking constantly until the caramel is thick and browning (you'll feel it get thicker). Stir in vanilla extract, then pour over the shortbread.
- Let the shortbread and caramel cool for about 15 minutes, then microwave the chocolate and cream together for 30 second bursts, until the chocolate is melted. Stir to combine, then spread over the caramel.
- Put the pan in the fridge to set, at least an hour, and then pull out by the foil sling and cut as desired (I suggest diamonds!). Serve and impress, eat and delight!
- Store in the fridge for up to a week.
From Brown Eyed Baker