Parmesan Shortbreads

I go into auto-Parmesan-shortbread mode whenever I have friends coming for supper, as not only is it perfect with drinks, but it can be made in advance. Indeed you can make the dough, wrap it and then leave it in the fridge for up to three days before slicing an baking, although you will need to let these cheese-scented cylinders sit out on a kitchen surface just long enough to get the fridge-chill off them before slicing.

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It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Parmesan Shortbreads

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 20

Ingredients

  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 175g/6oz unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 75g/2¾oz caster sugar
  • 150g/5oz butter
  • 1 x 379g can condensed milk
  • 100g/3½oz golden syrup
  • 350g/12oz dark chocolate, or a mixture of dark and milk, chopped into small piece

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Line a 23cm/9in square cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Combine the flour and butter cubes in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, you can rub the butter in by hand.)
  3. Add in the caster sugar and pulse again until combined.
  4. Tip the mixture into the lined cake tin and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. Then press the shortbread down firmly with your knuckles so that it is tightly packed in the tin.
  5. Bake the shortbread for 30 minutes or until very light golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, for the topping, heat the butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. The caramel will thicken and turn golden-brown. Set aside to cool slightly, then pour over the cooled shortbread. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water), stirring occasionally.
  9. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel and set aside until the chocolate has cooled completely.
  10. Cut into squares and serve.
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