Three kinds of awesome: crunchy chocolate shortbread, sticky caramel and a dusting of sweet banana. Each bite sized piece envelopped in a crackly chocolate coating.
I think that was more than three. That was many varieties of awesome. Like millionaire’s shortbread marries banoffee pie at an extravagant ceremony and then has spoiled chocolate children.
What’s more: this is not hard at all.
Prepare the perfect mathematical shortbread in five minutes. Spread with (store-bought, eek) caramel mixed with blended banana chips. Cut into squares. Dip in melted chocolate. Lick fingers (wash hands) then decorate.
Are they presents? Depends how awesome your friends are. My batch was for my excellent little brother, who definitely deserved it. (Minus the uneven-looking squares of course.)
Banana millionaire’s shortbread
(makes 30 chocolate-sized squares, or a dozen fat chunks)
1 cup plain flour
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
100g butter, cold
400g jar of dulce de leche, confiture de lait or Nestle’s caramel topping for banoffee pie
200g packet banana chips
at least 100g good quality dark chocolate (Lindt 70% was perfect)
Preheat oven to 170C.
In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa and sugar. Cube the butter and rub into dry mixture until it forms even crumbs, that start to stick together. Press firmly into a paper-lined baking tray – make a square about 20x20cm, 1cm thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes until it smells delicious and looks fim but not stiff. Cut into small squares straight away before it cools – but do not separate them, leave it as one slab.
Blend about 100g banana chips to a crumbly dust. Mix half a jar of caramel – about 200g – with a handful of banana dust. Taste. Add more banana for a stronger flavour or a stiffer texture. Spread the mix over the whole slab of chocolate shortbread, smooth neatly with a palette knife. Now spread on a little more caramel without banana to get a clean line.
Freeze the shortbread for 15 minutes make it easier to coat/cut. Meanwhile, prepare a bain-marie for the chocolate: one large bowl on top of a medium sized saucepan. Heat some water in the saucepan (not enough to touch the bowl) until it simmers but doesn’t boil. Place the bowl with the chocolate on top, let it melt. Don’t stir.
Take shortbread from freezer, spread a very thin layer of chocolate over the caramel. Be quick – it will set hard. This will make it easier and neater to cut the squares.
Place clean baking paper and another tray on top of the shortbread and flip it upside down. Now recut the squares along the lines. With a fork, dip each square in the melted chocolate. (Remove the bain-marie from the heat, but let the bowl sit over the saucepan so it stays warm.) Place on a clean baking sheet and top each square with a shard of banana chip before it sets completely.
Probably keeps for more than a week. (Let me know if you last that long.)