You can judge me for two things:
1) I’m blogging at 10:00 on a Saturday night while I watch Titanic for the 387th time. L-O-S-E-R.
2) I stole this idea from Andie at Can You Stay for Dinner, but found different recipes for the components because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store and get the things I was missing.
This was an all day endeavor. I started at about 10:00 this morning with the shortbread, which was exciting because I got to use my new food processor. I used Claire Robinson’s shortbread recipe and just made it into a crust instead of cookies. I also cut it in half because we know my history with dessert mainenance.
The dough has to chill for about 30 minutes, but this turned into 5 hours because Kelly and I went to D.C. to surprise Morgan at her volleyball game. She got into a trash talking match with a girl on the other team, it was highly entertaining. As was the volleyball itself. Go Le Moyne!
It baked for about 15 minutes at 375 until the edges were browned. Then I did yoga in the kitchen because no one was home and I got to inhale the shortbread fumes. Very zen. And also borderline bikrum from the oven being on.
That was the easy part. Then I moved on to the caramel. I consulted Ina for this one, because Andie’s recipe called for corn syrup, which I didn’t have. I had never made caramel before and they always make it look so easy with elapsed time on Food Network, but it’s a pretty nerve wracking process. I had to throw out the first attempt because I ended up with one big sugar disc.
I cut Ina’s recipe in half, but I didn’t find that it was enough water, so I ended up using 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Stir it together and put it on low heat until it’s fully dissolved, and then turn up the heat a little and let it come to a boil. It takes a few minutes for it to start to turn golden brown, and then once it starts to smoke and smell like caramel let it go for another 10 seconds or so then shut off the heat. I then added about 1/2 cup heavy cream- which will bubble up and be additionally scary but then it smoothes out. Pour it over your shortbread and cool.
I had a momentary panic attack that my laziness and cutting corners about recipes would leave me with a hard caramel instead of chewy, and that we would have shortbread topped with something comparable to Werther’s candy, aka breaking your teeth. Luckily it was perfectly chewy. Because I would sacrifice my teeth for dessert.
This ended up being another 4 hours in the fridge because I walked all over Baltimore attempting to get to RA Sushi to meet my friend Liz. The Grand Prix has literally shut down the city and I’m also directionally challenged so it took me forever to get there. 6 sushi rolls and a three mile walk later, I got right to my third and final layer- the chocolate.
This is my makeshift double boiler. I used about 1 cup chocolate and a 1/4 cup or so of heavy cream- you may need a little more at the end to get it to smooth out. I also thought the chocolate layer ended up being a little too thick (words I never thought I’d say) so you could probably cut those measurements down a little.
At this point I had waited long enough for the chilling and firming so I stuck it in the freezer for 10 minutes or so and dug in.
And now that it’s 10:00 on Saturday maybe I’ll grab me a Twix bar and go study. Which was what I was supposed to be doing all day. Whoops.
Shortbread Recipe (from Claire Robinson)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tbs powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp water
1 stick butter, cut into pieces
Blend the dry ingredients in the food processor until combined. Add the vanilla, water, and butter and pulse until combined. You’ll think it’s too powdery but eventually they come together to make a dough. Push it into a foil lined dish (mine was small, maybe 6×10- that could be a totally inaccurate measurement) and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or as long as you want. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.
Caramel Recipe (from Ina Garten)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
Dissolve the sugar into the water and then bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until it gets brown. It will be amber colored when it’s done.
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
I didn’t have a nice clear glass bowl so I just boiled a few inches of water under a Pyrex bowl and stirred the chocolate and heavy cream together until melted and smooth and poured that over the shortbread and caramel.
This is something you HAVE to have accompanied by a big glass of milk. If you’re one of those people that doesn’t really like milk, then I don’t really like you.