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For the shortbread:
170g plain flour
60g caster sugar
120g unsalted butter

For the caramel:
1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
2tbsp golden syrup
60g caster sugar
1 cup of soft brown sugar
120g butter
1 tbsp vanilla essence

For topping:
1 (100g) bar of milk chocolate melted

chocolate caramel shortbread

(c) Julia Briggs for use by The English Tea Store

Method:
Preheat oven to 170 deg C or gas mark 4, lightly grease or line a 8″ square cake tin.

For shortbread, sieve flour and sugar together into a large bowl. With clean hands, rub the butter into the mixture until it comes together as a dough (if squeezed in hand should keep its shape) then press it into the bottom of the prepared tin spreading it evenly and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

For the caramel, while shortbread is baking, pour the condensed milk syrup, sugars, butter and vanilla into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Note: You must continue to stir once the mixture heats up! I did turn mine up more but it is important to keep stirring (do not allow the mixture to burn and stick). This step takes awhile – be prepared! The mixture will eventually thicken and become a deep caramel colour. Once thick enough, pour on top of the shortbread base, then put into fridge to chill for 30 mins or so.

Melt chocolate using a Bain Marie method (a inch or so or boiling water in a saucepan and a glass bowl placed over the top to allow the steam to melt the chocolate without curdling it). Pour chocolate over set caramel and return to fridge to set for 30 minutes. Cut into desired squares, then return to fridge to set completely (mine took an hour or so).

These will keep for 5 days in an airtight container, refrigerated

Tip…..use a mixture of different chocolate if you like-try mixing dark/milk/white and swirl together when pouring over caramel set in fridge.

~JB

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Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh

Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh

Name: Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-erh

Brand: English Tea Store

Type: Pu-erh, flavored

Form: Loose leaf

Review: I do confess that I don’t normally think of Scotland and pu-erh as having any sort of natural connection to each other, though perhaps that is due to a lack of imagination on my part. I’m glad, though, that someone was creative enough to create this blend of toffee pieces and shou (ripe) pu-erh tea, which I find very tasty indeed. The tea is priced right and can be infused more than once, making it a very good value indeed.

This isn’t a particularly sophisticated flavored tea and it doesn’t have a lot of depth or complexity. It is, however, an inspired flavor combination (kind of like peanut butter and chocolate). As the English Tea Store notes in its product description, the earthiness of pu-erh is actually a good match to the sweetness of toffee. The liquor is very dark brown, as is typical for a shou pu-erh, and medium bodied. For many people, this might be an acceptable coffee alternative, particularly if they are partial to flavored coffees.

Preparation Tips: I recommend 1.5 teaspoons of leaf to eight ounces of boiling water. A three minute steep worked well for me, but if you like a more aggressive flavor, up the steep time to five minutes. It tastes plenty sweet to me, but you may want to add some additional sweetening, as well as a bit of  milk, for a more decadent cup. Scottish Caramel Toffee Pu-Erh is also good for more than one steep: I’d recommend upping the steep time 1-2 minutes for each successive infusion.

Serving Tips:  There is no reason to serve this with food: It is flavorful enough on its own and would probably conflict with the flavor of most foodstuffs anyway. Save this tea for dessert or as a substitute for  a sweet breakfast pastry.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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