Friday, 25 March 2016

Easter Baking: Salted Caramel Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread...


Aloha Easter Bunnies!

So today's post is a lil bit festive! I love being festive for any occasion, I decorate my house, dress for the event and bake lots of themed goodies! Easter is no exception! That means the bunny bunting is up in my kitchen, my wardrobe has become increasingly pastel and anything with cream eggs or mini eggs is on my baking agenda. Last year I made an epic double layered chocolate fudge cake decorated like an Easter garden with bunnies, chicks and lambs on top and it was beautiful. This year I wanted a challenge. I found a recipe on Pinterest for a Mini Egg Millionaires Shortbread with salted caramel and it looked delicious! I have never made my own caramel before and although I have made shortbread I have never attempted my own Millionaires Shortbread which is funny because I bloody LAAAVVV IT!!! I altered the recipe ever so slightly to my taste and tried it for the very first time and took photos along the way. I thought I could share this recipe with you all so that you could treat your loved ones to a slice on Easter! Here we go....

Ingredients:

For the base:
150g butter
75g caster sugar
215g plain flour

For the salted caramel:
150ml double cream
100g light muscovado sugar
30g salted butter
Pinch of sea salt

For the chocolate topping:
200g milk chocolate
2 bags of Mini Eggs

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350F/Gas mark 4 and line a deep edged baking tray with greaseproof paper. 
(I did not have any greaseproof paper to hand so instead I lined the tray with foil and then greased the top of the foil with butter and it worked just fine!)

For the base:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the butter until pale. Sift in the flour and mix until combined. Tip the mixture into the baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until golden, leave to cool.
(If this is your first time making this and this part is a bit vague for you as it was for me, you can either tip the mix into the tray and then use your fingers to bind it together into a lovely flat dough in the tray OR make a ball of dough, roll it out on your kitchen side and then place it in the baking tray. I did the 2nd method.)



For the salted caramel:
Place the cream, sugar and butter in a medium pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 2 minutes until it begins to thicken. Taste and add some salt accordingly. (I added more than a pinch of sea salt as we like our salted caramel....salty). 
Pour the salted caramel over the COOL biscuit base. Crush 1 and a half bags of mini eggs in a cellophane bag using a rolling pin (very therapeutic!), and sprinkle most of it over the salted caramel, leaving some for the topping. Place the tray in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes.





For the chocolate topping:
Melt the chocolate on a low heat in the microwave, stirring every now and then until melted. Leave to cool slightly and then pour it over the mini eggs and salted caramel. Sprinkle the remaining crushed mini eggs on top of the chocolate and then place the leftover whole mini eggs neatly spaced for decoration. Pop the whole thing into the fridge again until ready to serve.


And here is the finished product...not bad for my first try!



Here is what I learnt from baking this for the first time:
1. I used a tray that was too big. Unfortunately I only had deep edged really small trays or really big trays so I went with a big one. This meant that my biscuit base was a little thinner than it should have been and it burnt a little on the edges as you can see in the photos. To combat this I just poured the caramel and chocolate in the middle of the base so that I could cut off the burnt edges before serving and also so that it would have a thicker layer of caramel and chocolate. This worked well and everyone enjoyed it!

2. I have stated in the method to crush 1 and a half bags of mini eggs for the sprinkled bits and leave half a bag for the final topping. I did not do this. I crushed 1 and a half bags but then accidently forgot and poured it all on top of the caramel in the middle. This meant I had very few whole eggs to decorate with and only a few to crush up for the final topping. Don't make my mistake! Save some eggs for the topping! It will look even prettier than mine!

3. I decided to use a big bar of Galaxy chocolate for my topping mainly because it was exactly 200g so was easy for me to just pick up in the shops and melt the whole bar. Whilst you can of course use any milk chocolate on top it really was extra smooth and yummy with galaxy on top!

4. Melted Galaxy chocolate is like heaven in a bowl so my last tip is to of course take the bowl with you to watch some Easter television whilst the millionaires shortbread sets in the fridge and using your fingers, lick the bowl clean. It was delicious AND easier to wash up. #winning

I hope you have enjoyed this post I really want to share more recipes with you as I am quite the avid baker! Let me know if you try this out and how it went! Ours was delicious!!! I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing Easter weekend!

Peace, Love and Easter chocolatey caramelly goodness xxx

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