A crunchy, nutty shortbread topped with orange-flavoured caramel and dark chocolate infused with coffee liqueur, espresso and vanilla – finished off with gold-dusted macadamias.
Make the shortbread. Pulse the flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and salt and pulse briefly to combine. Then add the egg yolk and cream and blitz until the mixture comes together to form a ball of slightly soft dough.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball and put one ball in each cup of the mini sandwich tin. Dip the tumbler in flour and gently flatten each ball into a neat, even disc that fits the base of the cup.
Sprinkle the macadamia quarters evenly over each shortbread base. Gently press the nuts into the shortbread using the glass. Place the tin on a baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
Bake the shortbreads for about 15 minutes, until lightly coloured (don’t scorch the nuts). Place the tin onto a wire rack and leave until cool enough to handle, then gently press up the loose bases (but don’t remove the shortbread) to check they are not sticking. Leave until completely cold.
To make the caramel layer, put the sugar, cream and butter into a heavy-based, medium pan over a low heat. Heat, stirring continuously, for about 10–15 minutes, until the sugar and butter have melted and no sugar grains remain.
Turn up the heat, then boil, stirring continuously, for 2–3 minutes, until the mixture is thick and a rich caramel colour. (Take care: it may splutter.)
Remove from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into a sink of cold water to stop the mixture cooking. Stir continuously for 1 minute, then remove the pan from the water and stir in the orange zest. Stir again for about 3–5 minutes, or until the caramel is very thick but still warm and spreadable.
Spoon 1½ tablespoons of the caramel on top of each shortbread and gently jiggle the tin so the caramel spreads out evenly. Chill for about 15 minutes, until firm.
For the chocolate topping, finely chop or break up the chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl with the butter. Suspend it over a pan of steaming hot but not boiling water and stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan.
Add the instant espresso coffee powder, vanilla extract and coffee liqueur and stir until very smooth. Remove the tin from the fridge and spoon 1 tablespoon of the chocolate–coffee mixture on top of the caramel in each cup. Gently jiggle the tin to spread evenly just to the edges. Leave until almost set.
To decorate, using the paintbrush, carefully coat the rounded top of the macadamia halves with small fragments of gold leaf, if using, then gently set one on top of each shortbread. Chill until set.
To serve, gently push up each base to release the shortbreads, taking care not to touch the chocolate. Arrange on a serving plate.