Chocolate & Salted Caramel Squares with Peanuts.

What with my latest obsession for ‘sweet with salty’ getting uncontrollable, I decided to finally do something about it. Sure, I’m on a diet, as how can it be any other way? Anyway, to cut a long story short (mostly about the struggle within) I spotted this easy recipe off the ‘net. I can safely say that if you’re feeling the urge for a brittle, sweet & salty, agonizingly delicious caramel & chocolate treat, you’ve stumbled upon the right page.

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This treat is really simple to put together ‘coz almost everything is should be available in your kitchen cupboard. All you need is the strength to watch 250g of lovely milk chocolate slowly turn from delicious little squares to the gooiest pool of chocolate madness without giving up the plan & just polishing off the bowl instead. Yes, so deep breaths.

 Now, assemble:

  • caster sugar-100 g
  • butter, softened and diced-200 g
  • self-raising flour, sifted-300 g
  • boiled condensed milk-400 ml
  • salted peanuts, roughly chopped-125 g
  • milk chocolate, broken into pieces-250 g

All you need to do next:

Pop a sealed tin of condensed milk into a heavy bottomed pan – cover completely with plain water & bring to boil. Then simmer for 2-3 hours. Be sure to top off the water to ensure that the tin is always submerged. Once done, cool off the tin. You should get a lovely dark & very gooey caramel instead of the pale runny condensed milk. Dulce de leche, made easy!

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line the base of a 20 x 30cm tin with baking paper. Sure, it’s tricky, but so worth the effort.

In a large bowl, rub together the butter and flour in a bowl with your fingertips and stir in the sugar. Press into the prepared tin with your hands or a palette knife – be sure to level out the mixture.

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown all over, then remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin.

Only once it is cool, the fun really begins! Spread over the condensed milk to cover the shortbread, and then press the roughly chopped peanuts into it, making sure they are evenly distributed.

Now for the challenging part- place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and allow to melt. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. It’s also important here to keep an eye on the chocolate as too much heat can turn it grainy. Once the chocolate’s glossy , smooth & evenly melted, remove from the heat and pour over the peanut-studded dulce de leche, allowing it to cool, and then leave in the fridge for 1–2 hours to set. Once set, cut the mixture into squares in the tin.

That’s it- simple and delicious!