Chocolate Caramel Squares

Hi friends, happy Wednesday! How the heck are you? Boyfriend is out for the morning and I have spent my alone time thus far dancing around the house in a caffeine induced haze. You know those times when you get the house all to yourself and you just want to really embrace it? This morning I have embraced my empty house by listening to songs from my youth at a high volume and singing along as loud as I can. It’s so fun! It’s got my endorphins flowing and has me totally jazzed up about today’s post: Chocolate Caramel Squares. You might also know them as Millionaire’s Shortbread, Caramel Slices, or simply Caramel Squares – but they’re all the same: biscuit base, caramel filling, chocolate topping. Aka: a universally loved classic!

Here’s the thing: I have a real love/hate relationship with caramel squares. As with every kid in Ireland, I grew up eating them. They’re a staple in nearly every single cafΓ©/bakery/store, and they’re usually a reliable choice. As Boyfriend’s girlfriend, I have grown to hate caramel squares. Boyfriend, as lovely as he is, is a self-proclaimed ‘Caramel Square Connoisseur’ – and he is very particular about how he likes his caramel squares. Over the years, I have tried and failed to make him the ultimate chocolate caramel square. I’ve tried favourites from around the internet, trusted recipes from my beloved cookbooks, and scrawled instructions shared from neighbours. Each and every one of them has been a resounding, frustrating, headshaking no – until now. And I don’t mean to brag or anything – but that’s kind of a big deal.

Chocolate Caramel Squares: The Breakdown

I think the key to a perfect chocolate caramel square lies in the ratios. It’s a real pet-peeve of mine when I see a caramel square in a bakery that has too thick a chocolate layer or too thin a biscuit base. I just can’t handle it! Ideally, the ratio of a chocolate caramel square should be: one part chocolate, two parts caramel, and three parts biscuit base. I mean, I’m no expert – just the girlfriend of a connoisseur πŸ˜‰ – but I think you should trust me on this. Here’s the breakdown of my chocolate caramel squares:

β€’ brown butter biscuit base. That’s right: we’re browning our butter because we’re looking for all the extra flavour we can get our hands on. I used my brown butter biscuit base from my Pie Bars, but I scaled the recipe up for a thicker layer. It’s crumbly and buttery in all the right ways.

β€’ stovetop caramel. I’ll be the first to admit that making caramel is not my forte. However! This stovetop caramel is so easy and stress-free that even I can do it. It’s made up of condensed milk, sugar, butter, cream, and a little golden syrup. The whole thing gets cooked on the stovetop, so you’re entirely in control of how dark it becomes. It’s a dream!

β€’ chocolate topping WITH butter. Not that you asked, but another huge pet-peeve of mine is when caramel squares are covered in a thick layer of just chocolate. Chocolate goes rock hard when cool, and it’s nearly impossible to bite into a square like this without squidging all the caramel out! Our chocolate gets melted down with butter until glossy & luscious – and this makes it so much easier to cut into. I used a mixture of milk + dark chocolate (120g milk+80g dark), but you do you.

How to make Chocolate Caramel Squares

I didn’t take step-by-step photos. I know. I’m sorry. It’s just, I genuinely didn’t think they’d turn out to be as bomb.com amazing as they did, so I didn’t bother. However, I can talk you through it real quick. Okay?

β€’ make the base. Once you brown the butter & leave it to cool for a bit, the base is a cinch. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, and use your fingers to press into a greased & lined brownie tin. This gets baked for 25-ish minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.

β€’ while that cools slightly, make the caramel. Dump all of the ingredients into a pot and simmer on the stove for around 8-minutes. It depends on what colour you like your caramel to be, but generally speaking: once it’s thickened up and is somewhat golden brown, it’s done! Pour this over the base, spread it out, and pop into the fridge to firm up.

β€’ lastly, the chocolate layer. Combine the chocolate & butter in a bain-marie over simmering water until melted. Leave it to cool for 5-minutes – we don’t want it to melt through our previous layer – and then pour over the caramel. Spread it around, and pop it back into the fridge to set completely.

Et voila! So easy, and so delicious! You can thank me later!

Happy baking! xo

P R I N T
5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Caramel Squares

Caramel Slice / Millionaire's Shortbread / Caramel Square – whatever you know them as, these will be the best you've ever tried! Brown butter biscuit base, stovetop caramel, and a silky smooth chocolate topping.
P R E P10 mins
C O O K45 mins
T O T A L1 hr 45 mins
Yield: 12 large slices
Author: Passionate Baker

INGREDIENTS

for the base

  • 255 g salted butter
  • 337 g plain flour
  • 90 g light brown sugar

for the filling

  • 175 g salted butter
  • 115 g caster sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp golden syrup
  • 397 g condensed milk (1 tin)

for the chocolate topping

  • 200 g dark/milk chocolate, in chunks/chips
  • 30 g salted butter, cubed

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease & line a 9 x 9-inch brownie tin with baking parchment; set aside.

for the base

  • Place the butter in a saucepan over a medium to high heat & leave to brown. Swirl the butter occasionally. After about 5 minutes, the foam should subside & you should start to see a light brown colour, & it should smell nutty. Remove from the heat & pour into a different bowl to cool to room temperature – or put in the fridge to speed the process up.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar. Pour in the cooled butter & mix with a spatula until a dough forms. Neatly press the dough into the prepared tin until evenly dispersed & bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.

for the filling

  • While that cools, make the filling. In a medium pot, combine all of the ingredients over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Stirring continuously with a whisk, bring the caramel to a high simmer, and cook for 6-8ish minutes, or until the caramel becomes thick and deeply golden brown.
  • Remove from the heat, and immediately pour over the base. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly, and then transfer the pan to the fridge until the caramel is cool to the touch.

for the chocolate topping

  • Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water – making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir with a rubber spatula until melted and homogenous. Leave to cool for 5-minutes.
  • Pour the chocolate evenly over the caramel and spread with an offset spatula. Return to the fridge until the chocolate is set.
  • Slice into 12, and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!



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