Boot and Bike Bites: Recipe of the Week; Caramel (Millionaire’s) Shortbread

take a rest, enjoy the view and refuel with some yummy shortbread

The ultimate treat after a lung-bursting climb to the top of that hill and, along with ginger beer (although maybe not at the same time) and ham sandwiches, it’s also a classic Famous Five food: great for re-living those bright, fresh, adventure-packed spring holidays.



You’ll need:

For the shortbread base
225g/8oz plain flour
75g/2.5oz caster sugar
175g/6oz butter

Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter, clumping the dough together to make a ball. Press this sandy shortbread mixture into the tin and smooth it down. Prick with a fork and cook for five minutes at 170 C/gas mark 3/about 325 F, then lower the oven to 150 C/gas mark 2/about 320 F, and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until pale golden and no longer doughy. Let it cool in the tin.

For the caramel
150g/5 oz butter
150g/5 oz dark brown soft sugar
397g tin condensed milk

Put the butter and sugar into a non-stick pan and stir over a medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add the condensed milk, stirring continuously, until the first bubbles appear on the surface. Remove from the heat as soon as it comes to the boil. Spread the caramel evenly over the shortbread base, cool and chill for about 30 minutes.

For the chocolate topping
225g/8oz plain chocolate

Break into pieces and melt in a bowl over another bowl of barely boiling water – don’t let the chocolate come into contact with the boiling water.
Spread evenly over the set caramel. Once the chocolate has cooled and set, cut into squares.

So, with these three easy steps you can make about 24 squares of this sumptuous sweet. Just make sure you use dark chocolate (preferably around 70% cocoa solids) for the topping as this provides the ideal contrast with the caramel and it also produces a better texture.
Don’t leave home this holiday without a few squares for you and your friends!

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Boot and Bike Bites: Recipe of the Week; Dark Chocolate and Ginger Muffins

Spice up your spring hike/ride with these easy-to-make muffins. The luxurious dark chocolate gets a delicious kick from the added ginger and they are ideal to pack in your rucksac or panniers.

You’ll need:
225g/8oz plain flour
55g/2oz cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
Pinch salt
115g/4oz soft brown sugar
3 pieces preserved ginger, in syrup, finely chopped, plus 2 tbsp syrup from the jar
2 eggs
220ml/7fl oz milk
85g/3oz butter, melted and cooled

How to Make:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F/Gas Mark 6.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ground ginger and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and preserved ginger.

Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl, then beat in the milk, butter and ginger syrup. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten liquid ingredients. Stir gently until until just combined, but don’t over-mix.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes until well-risen and firm to the touch.

Leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes. Eat some warm and transfer the rest to a wire rack to cool.

With 12 muffins, you can scoff some yourself and still have plenty left to share.


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