When I was at primary school, my class was selected for an academic survey. We had to fill out a questionnaire detailing our parents' level of education and various other lifestyle questions. I guess this was then correlated with our academic achievement to see if certain households were more likely to produce academically successful children than others. The reason I still remember this is that we had to write down how many books were in our house. I lost count after about 250.
My mum loves books, and sometimes buys random books just because she likes the look of them. She also has a magic ability to find books on special offer or discounted, and she recently sent me Harry Eastwood's "Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache" as she was concerned that I eat too much cake!
There were quite a few recipes that appealed, but as I had a tub of caramel sitting in the fridge already, I decided to make the "Chocolate and Salted Caramel Squillionaire", which I then realised was the only recipe in the book that didn't contain vegetables. Oh well.
The addition of golden syrup to the biscuit base gave it a nice toffee flavour, and baking the base before adding the caramel and chocolate made it super crispy. I did think there was a bit too much biscuit base though, next time I would probably only use 250g instead of 300g of digestives.
I also liked using the salted caramel and really dark chocolate topping, as it counteracted the sweetness of the caramel and the base. They're a little bit more grown up than the usual millionaire's shortbread. Although the recipe says it makes 12, I cut mine in to 16 and they are still a decent size.
I'm really excited to try some of the other recipes, although I agree with this review that the descriptions of the recipes can be rather annoyingly cutesy...
Chocolate and Salted Caramel Squillionaire (Harry Eastwood - Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartache)
397g tin of condensed milk
100g unsalted butter (melted)
3 tbsp golden syrup
300g digestive biscuits
pinch of sea salt
150g very dark chocolate
1) Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a 22cm square brownie tin with baking paper.
2) In a large and sturdy pan, put the (unopened) can of condensed milk. Fill the pan with boiling water so the tin is completely covered. Boil for one hour, topping up the water as needed.
3) Meanwhile, put the melted butter and golden syrup in a bowl, and put it in the oven or in the microwave to melt the syrup and butter together. (Make sure the bowl is oven/microwave proof!) It won't take long, 5 minutes in the oven or 1 minute in the microwave.
4) Crush the biscuits, either with a food processor or by putting them in a plastic bag and whacking it with a rolling pin. Get them really crushed, so the mixture looks like fine sand.
5) Mix in the hot butter and syrup with the biscuits. It should now look like wet sand!
6) Push the biscuit mixture in to the tin, squashing it down with your hand or the back of a spoon. Prick the surface with a fork to let out any air bubbles, and then bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave it to cool while the caramel finishes it's bath.
7) Carefully remove the tin from the boiling water, and open it. Mix in a pinch of salt, and then pour it over the biscuit base, making sure it spreads out to cover the whole base. Put it in the freezer to cool down for at least 20 minutes as you need the caramel to be set when you pour the chocolate over.
8) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once it is thoroughly melted, pour it over the frozen caramel and biscuit base. Put it in the fridge to chill.
9) After the chocolate has hardened, cut in to portions and serve!