Paul Hollywood's Salted Caramel Bars

The Great British Baking Show judge shares a "melt in your mouth" dessert from his new cookbook A Baker's Life

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Photo: Victor Protasio

The Great British Baking Show judge shares a “melt in your mouth” dessert from his new cookbook A Baker’s Life

Paul Hollywood’s Salted Caramel Bars

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1⅓ cups unsalted butter, softened and divided, plus more for greasing
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. table salt
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp. golden cane syrup (such as Lyle’s Golden Syrup)
  • 1 tsp. flaky sea salt
  • 7 oz. dark chocolate baking bar, chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 300°. Grease a shallow 11×7-inch baking dish with butter. Line baking dish with parchment paper, allowing paper to extend by 2 inches on each side; grease parchment.

2. Beat granulated sugar and 2/3 cup butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add flour and table salt; stir with a spoon, and then combine with your hands to form a smooth dough (try not to overwork it). Press dough into pan in an even layer, and prick surface all over with a fork. Bake in preheated oven until pale golden and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan, about 45 minutes.

3. Combine brown sugar, condensed milk, golden syrup and remaining 2/3 cup butter in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until butter melts and mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until the caramel bubbles become larger, mixture thickens and turns a rich, glossy caramel color, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour caramel evenly over the shortbread, and sprinkle with sea salt. Cool completely until set, about 1 hour.

4. Melt chocolate, stirring often, in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Pour melted chocolate evenly over caramel layer; spread with an offset spatula until level and smooth. Sprinkle with nuts. Let stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Use a knife to release ends of bars from pan; use the parchment paper as handle to remove from pan. Cut into bars.

Makes: 16 bars
Active time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes, plus chilling

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