Oven Temperature: 160ºC/320ºF/Gas Mark 2 or 3
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Quantity: Never enough
The caramel layer was the tricky bit to veganise. Using soya whipping cream (NOT soya milk!! Recipe for disasters!) and using a stainless steel pan seems to be the key.
150g (6 oz) vegan margarine (I used 'pure' - the green one)
75g (3 oz) caster sugar
175g (7 oz) plain flour
75g (3 oz) cornflour
300g caster sugar
60g vegan margarine
About 3 tbsp soya whipping cream (Almost half a carton - about 130ml)
Vanilla - seeds from about 1/4 of a pod (optional)
And of course, 100g of plain chocolate
1) Put the margarine in a mixing bowl and beat in the caster sugar.
2) Mix in the flour and cornflour, pressing the dough lightly together with your hands.
3) Press the shortbread into a rectangular oven-able dish until it's flat and level - this is easier with a transparent dish.
4) Cook for about 30 minutes or until the shortbread is JUST beginning to brown.
5) While the shortbread is cooling, you can start on the caramel. Put the sugar into a large stainless steel pan and put it on a medium heat. Yes, all by itself. No water!
6) The plan is to end up with caramel colour melted sugar with no burnt bits, so just keep melting the sugar, stirring (especially around the edges of the pan) to make sure it doesn't burn.
7) When all the sugary lumps have melted and the caramel is a lovely golden brown colour, add the margarine, soya cream and vanilla and stir it all together. Be careful not to get splattered with hot sugar!
8) Put a drop of caramel in a cup of cold water, to check that it is the right consistency. It should form a soft ball between your finger and thumb. If the drop dissolves and doesn't come together, put the caramel back on the heat. If the ball is rock solid and more like toffee than caramel you could put it over a very gentle heat with some extra soya cream.
9) Pour your perfect caramel over the shortbread and leave it to set.
10) Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan/bowl of boiling water, making sure no water splashes into the chocolate. Pour the chocolate over the caramel. Voila.
© Cherry 2012. Questions, comments & corrections welcome. Email Cherry at Parsleysoup.