Molly Gordon's best caramel slice
I’m always interested to read Peter’s answers to so many cooking dilemmas, as I find I’m in the same boat as many when things don’t turn out as planned. One such thing for me is caramel slice. I just can’t seem to get the caramel right, it either soaks into the base or it doesn’t set at all and ends up a runny mess. There is obviously a trick to it. After yet another failed attempt at the weekend I vowed I would never try to cook it again, but my 8-year-old daughter loves it and I feel an obligation to try one more time. Hopefully advice from Peter will result in the perfect caramel slice.
Ah, caramel slice, or shortbread (and I hope I’m writing about what you’re enquiring about).
My paternal grandmother Molly Gordon made the best in the world. Her key was to have a delicious shortbread base (and she was expert at that) smothered with lots and lots of toffee made from condensed milk. In fact I cooked her "regular" shortbread, sans caramel, and served it to the Queen for lunch one day and it was much appreciated. I don’t usually give actual recipes in this column as I like to see myself as an Agony Uncle for cooking dilemmas, but in order to answer your question I figure the best way is to simply pass on Molly’s recipe — so here it is.
Condensed milk caramel
For the effort involved in the recipe above, you may want to do a few tins at a time and then you could spoon the rest on to ice cream with some ripe bananas for a gooey dessert. Once cooked though, you can keep a can of caramelised milk in the fridge for 3 weeks.
Apart from the use above for the caramel, on ice cream, it’s lovely beaten into mascarpone and used to pipe on sweet muffins. Spread on the base of a pre-cooked tart shell and top with sliced banana, then whipped cream for a banoffie pie, stir into rice pudding along with toasted almonds and pecans for a lovely winter dessert, or stir into strong black coffee for a treat. Or simply do as we did as kids and eat it off a teaspoon!
In our Ask Peter series, executive chef Peter Gordon answers your curly culinary questions. If you’re stumped over something food-related, send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and keep checking in for answers. You can read more on Peter on his website, have a read of his Ask Peter articles or check out his recipes on our site.