The holiday season is one of cheer n greeting, and also of much eating! In vellore, both A and T independently made caramel squares for me! A calls them ‘millionaire’s bars’ (because they’re SO rich). T uses the Spanish ‘dulce de leche’ for the sweet, golden layer of caramel. So I was inspired to make some caramel squares (which is what I call them, having ordered more than my fair share in Glasgow’s coffee shops with U!). Buying ingredients in BC can sometimes be challenging. But the Amul shop uncle (who sells wholesale only, and will insist on you buying 20 to 50 of anything he sells) managed to provide 50% of the stuff – the elusive butter and condensed milk! The rest was easier to get. There are numerous recipes and videos to choose from online. But very few with ingredients from India. So here goes :
The Ingredients, which are all available in India
1. One pack of biscuits, preferably Britannia Nice Time, for the yummy coconut n sugar (150g). You could go for a more authentic shortbread base, but I love the coconutty twist that ‘nice’ biscuits bring
2. One pack of Amul Butter (100g)
3. One tin of Amul Condensed Milk or Mithai Mate (400g)
4. One Dairy Milk chocolate bar (150g)
5. A pinch of salt
6. Two heaped tablespoons of sugar
Biscuit Base: Crush the biscuits into powder, either by whacking them with a rolling pin or giving them a whir in the mixie. Line your flat bowl with butter paper and tip the biscuit powder in. Cut half of the butter (save the other half for the caramel) into small cubes and mix into the powdered biscuit until it is a moist, sand like consistency. Press down firmly and evenly around the bowl. Store in the fridge till the caramel is ready.
Dulce de leche: empty the condensed milk into a heavy bottomed pan. Add the remaining half of the butter, a little salt and the two tablespoons of sugar. Cook on a low -medium heat, stirring constantly to make sure the bottom does not burn. Cook for 10-20 mins, depending on how oozy or thick you want your caramel. I got a twix-like consistency, but with a much lighter colour. Pour into the base. Leave in the fridge to set for atleast an hour. There are many ways to make the dulce de leche including boiling and pressure cooking the tin. But directly on the stove seems the quickest option!
And finally the chocolate topping. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Which is simply – in a bowl, which fits snugly into the top of another bowl below, filled with boiling water. Once the chocolate is all melted, pour and smoothen out on top of the caramel layer! I put it back in the fridge to set. But that made it hard to cut, even with a warm knife. So after that you could just leave it out
And voila! There’s your caramel square. Ok mine is more of a caramel rectangle and to have one big piece would be a tad overindulgent. Cut up into small squares and wave your magic wand. They disappear really quick!!