Recipe of the week

Just when you think the caramel slice (sometimes known as millionaire's shortbread) can't get any better, I bring you this new level of decadence. What makes this caramel slice so good? Chocolate, of course. Here you'll find it nestled in the biscuit base, humming in the caramel filling and crowning this slice in the form of a glossy ganache.

  • 125g unsalted butter, melted
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 120g plain flour
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 50g good-quality milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 80g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 80g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 395ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 90g good-quality dark chocolate
  • 250g good-quality milk chocolate
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 30g liquid glucose
  • Pinch of sea salt

1. To make the biscuit base, preheat the oven to 160C fan (315F). Grease a slice tin about 27.5cm x 17.5cm and 3.5cm deep. Line the base and sides of the tin with baking paper and set aside until required.
2. Put the melted butter and brown sugar in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the flour, coconut and cinnamon. Continue to mix until the ingredients come together. Add the milk chocolate and mix until well incorporated.
3. Press the mixture into the base of the prepared baking tin to create an even layer and bake for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside at room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 140C fan (275F).
4. For the caramel filling, combine the butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted and the sugar has completely dissolved, reduce the heat to low, add the sweetened condensed milk and whisk continuously until the mixture begins to simmer. Continue to whisk and cook for a further three minutes until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
5. Remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate. Mix until the chocolate is melted and well-incorporated into the caramel.
6. Pour the caramel filling over the biscuit base and spread to create an even layer. Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely at room temperature.
7. For the ganache topping, first place the chocolate in a bowl. Combine the cream, vanilla, glucose and salt in a saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then pour the mixture over the chocolate. Gently whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into the other ingredients.
8. Pour the ganache over the cooled caramel layer and spread evenly. For a less-rich version, you can omit the ganache topping.
9. Place the tin in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Remove the caramel slab from the tin and cut it into 18 slices, about 9cm by 3cm each. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
To add a little dazzle, rub some edible gold lustre dust into shaved or shredded coconut and sprinkle some on top of each bar.

Chocolate All Day: Recipes for Indulgence Morning, Noon and Night, by Kirsten Tibballs - The Chocolate Queen, is published by Murdoch Books, price £22.