Millionaire’s shortbread bars are always really good, but these add a little tamarind to give them just a little bit of a sour note to offset all the sweetness.
Closely based on a Food and Wine recipe, you could really just use any millionaire’s shortbread recipe and just add a few tablespoons of tamarind to the caramel section.
The photos for these did NOT turn out very well, but I was able to somewhat save them, thanks to some creative cropping and photoshop polishing.
What you’ll need:
For the base
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (180g), sifted
- 0.5 cups packed light brown sugar
- 0.5 cups unsweetened flaked (desiccated) coconut
- 0.25t fine sea salt
- 0.5 cups unsalted butter (113g), melted, plus softened butter, for greasing
For the tamarind caramel
- 1T unsalted butter
- 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- 2 .5T light brown sugar
- 2T tamarind concentrate—I would use 3 or 4T next time
- 0.25t fine sea salt
For the chocolate
- 7 oz (198g) dark chocolate (70% cacao), roughly chopped
- 3T unsalted butter, cut into 0.5-inch pieces
What to do:
Begin heating your oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches of overhang on a pair of opposite edges. Lightly grease the parchment paper with softened butter.
Stir together the flour, coconut sugar, desiccated coconut and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the melted butter until well combined. Spoon this mixture into the prepared pan, and spread it evenly across the bottom. Firmly press the mixture into an even layer using bottom of a flat, dry measuring cup or something similar. Bake in the 350°F oven until light golden brown—12 to 15 minutes. When the crust is ready, remove it from the oven and place the baking pan on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
Now it’s time to make the tamarind caramel. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low. Stir in the condensed milk, light brown sugar, tamarind concentrate and salt, then cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth, glossy and just begins to bubble—about 5 minutes.
Pour hot the caramel over the cooked pastry base in the pan, and spread it in an even layer over the surface. Return the pan to the oven, and bake at 350°F until the caramel is bubbly, set in the center and the edges are slightly puffed—8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for about 1.5 hours.
Make the chocolate topping:
When the crust and caramel are almost cooled, fill a medium saucepan with water to a depth of an inch, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and using an appropriate-sized heat-proof bowl, make a double-boiler, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Combine the chocolate and butter, then cook, stirring often, until the mixture is smooth and melted—3 to 6 minutes.
Pour the chocolate topping over the cooled caramel and spread it in an even layer. You can gently tap the pan on a counter to even out the chocolate. After it cools to room temperature, loosely cover the pan and refrigerate it for about 1.5 hours.
To cut the bars, using the parchment paper overhang as handles, lift the pastry bar from the pan and put it on a cutting board to cut into whatever-size pieces work for you. You may want to wipe the knife between cuts because it will get sticky.
Serve at room temperature.