There’s been a bit of a trend over the past few weeks with my bakes being around requests made from colleagues. The first of these being the ‘Key’ Lime Pie, which was a success. The second being the caramel custard doughnuts, which were not so successful, definite room for improvement. When shopping at the Trafford Centre last weekend I stumbled across the Lakeland store (a new addition to the shopping centre. Unusual that it is all on one floor compared to the other stores I’ve visited) I purchased a doughnut making kit so will need to find a weekend where I can use this for attempt two. Now, the request for this bake came from my boss. She wanted a millionaires peanut butter caramel shortcake. Straight away, I started searching for a recipe and it didn’t take long to find. A shortbread biscuit base with a peanut butter filling, then a caramel layer topped with a chocolate layer (recipe here). Now, my boss didn’t want a shortbread biscuit base, she wanted the same base that I’d used for the ‘Key’ Lime Pie. Experimentation time!!!!!
So, I used the basic biscuit base recipe for the ‘Key’ Lime Pie and decided to add a handful of peanuts to the biscuits before crushing to add a bit of texture and nutty flavour. I then used the peanut butter icing layer from the Good Food recipe I’d found to get the peanut butter element in. I also sprinkled on a handful of peanuts for good measure. I decided to not include the caramel layer for a number of reasons; I was worried that it would make the slice too sweet, I didn’t think I had enough room in the tin I had used, I didn’t have enough time. Rather than using the suggested dark chocolate, I used milk chocolate so that it wasn’t too bitter (only had 85% dark chocolate in the house). I then decorated the chocolate with the suggested caramel sauce.
Caramel and Peanut Butter Biscuit Slices
Cuts into 8 pieces
- 300g Hob Nobs
- 150g butter, melted
- 50g peanuts, plus handful extra
- 70g butter
- 110g smooth peanut butter
- 70g icing sugar
- 150g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
- 70g dairy fudge
- 1 1/2 tbsp milk
- Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Whizz the biscuits and peanuts to crumbs in a food processor (or put in a strong plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin). Mix with the melted butter and press into the base and up the sides of a 17cm square tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool.
- To make the peanut butter layer, melt the butter and peanut butter in a small pan and mix until smooth. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, then pour in the hot butter mixture and stir to combine. While the mixture is still warm, pour over the base and smooth out with a spatula. Sprinkle over the handful of extra peanuts. Chill for 2 hrs until set.
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Meanwhile, put the toffees and the milk in a small saucepan and gently heat. They will clump together and struggle to melt at first, but keep heating and eventually they will turn into a runny toffee sauce.
- Remove the tin from the fridge and pour the chocolate over the salted caramel layer, tipping the tin to spread the chocolate over the surface. Use a spoon to quickly drizzle the caramel over the chocolate in a thin loopy pattern. If the toffee starts to get too thick, add a splash more milk or cream and pop it back on the heat until runny. Put the tin back in the fridge to chill for 2 hrs before slicing.
These went down a treat at work. My boss felt it ticked all the boxes she wanted (though she did suggest not adding the peanuts into the base as didn’t add anything). Others felt that the caramel layer was needed as it would take it to the next step. I felt that the biscuit base was too crumbly which may have been caused by the addition of the peanuts, therefore I’m in agreement that these do not need to be there. But, all in all, I am happy with how it turned out.
On Thursday, my sister and I got to visit Nutters in Norden to take part in one of their Masterclasses (thank you mum and dad for paying). We watched Andrew Nutter prepare a three course meal (and a soup) before getting to sit down and eat the courses for our lunch. The menu was: Pardon Peppers with Chilli and Ginger Salt; Pumpkin Soup En Croute; Roast Hake with Smoked Haddock Potato Cake and Frazzled Pancetta; Dingley Dell Pork Belly Confit with Black Pudding and Creamy Lancashire Arancini; Pear and Almond Tart. Below is a picture of what we got to eat for lunch.
Afterwards, my sister came back to mine and did a spot of baking. One of her favourite bakes is Millionaires Shortbread. So, in a week we’ve had the classic and the twist on a classic. Now these were very tasty. The shortbread wasn’t overly sweet meaning that the slice was too sickly (could possibly manage two if you wanted to be naughty).
Finally, with it now moving into Autumn, I love making soup as a warming lunch. A couple of weeks ago, me and Mr W were in Scotland and called upon some friends (another Mr and Mrs W) and were given a bowl of lovely home-made Carrot and Orange soup (made by other Mr W). Now, Mr W took a liking for this soup and requested the recipe. So today, I made it. Now, at first, Mr W didn’t think it tasted as strongly as orange as other Mr Ws did but he did think it was still tasty. The more he ate, the more he felt the orange did come through. What I like about this soup is that the orange adds a subtle sweetness that doesn’t overpower the overall flavour of the soup. Thank you Mr and Mrs W for the recipe (and home-made bread. We had to make do with shop bought rolls today, they were still good, just not as good).