A crisp, orange-flavoured shortbread base topped with a salted caramel layer, lively orange ganache and a thin disc of tempered dark chocolate.
Hands-on time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Skill level: Needs a little skill
For the shortbread:
160g plain flour
100g icing sugar
200g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
Finely grated zest 1 large orange
For the caramel:
115g unsalted butter
125ml double cream
½ teaspoon salt
200g caster sugar
For the ganache:
300ml fresh orange juice
75g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
75g milk chocolate (about 35% cocoa solids), finely chopped
75g double cream
For the chocolate decoration:
115g dark chocolate (about 50% cocoa solids), finely chopped
Edible orange lustre powder, for dusting
You will also need:
Food processor (optional)
Baking sheet lined with baking paper
6cm plain round cutter
Several acetate sheets
Heatproof pastry brush
- To make the shortbread with a food processor: put the cornflour, plain flour and icing sugar into the food processor bowl and ‘pulse’ until well mixed. Add the butter, vanilla powder and orange zest and blitz until the mixture comes together to make a firm dough.
- To make the shortbread by hand: sift the cornflour, plain flour and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, vanilla and zest and rub in using the tips of your fingers. Gradually work the mixture and press it together to make a dough.
- Turn out onto a worktop lightly dusted with flour and roll out to a 21cm square (8mm thick). Transfer to the lined baking sheet, prick the shortbread dough all over with a fork, then chill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.
- Bake the shortbread for about 17-20 minutes until a light golden brown and just firm. Remove from the oven, set the baking sheet onto a wire rack, and carefully stamp out 9 rounded shapes with the 6cm cutter. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
- Cut the acetate sheets into 9 strips of 22cm x 4cm. Wrap one strip around the base edge of each shortbread disc to make a vertical ‘collar’ or mould, securing it with sticky tape. Place onto a clean baking sheet.
- Now make the caramel: put the butter, cream and salt into a small pan and heat gently until almost boiling.
- Meanwhile, put the sugar and water into a heavy-based, medium-sized pan and set over a low heat. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Keep a small bowl of water and a heatproof pastry brush handy so you can brush down the sides of the pan with water to dislodge any sugar crystals stuck to the sides. Turn up the heat and boil rapidly until the syrup turns a rich caramel colour.
- Remove the caramel pan from the heat, cover your hand with an oven glove, and carefully pour the hot cream mixture into the pan. CAUTION: the mixture will splutter and burn you if it touches your skin. Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly until the sauce is smooth and thick, and reaches 110°C on a sugar thermometer.
- Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool, stirring frequently, until the caramel has thickened and cooled to 35-40° Pour 2 tablespoons of the caramel into each mould, on top of the shortbread. Chill for 20 minutes until firm.
- Meanwhile make the orange ganache: pour the orange juice into a medium-sized pan and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until reduced to 50ml. Pour into a small bowl and leave to cool (it will be thick and sticky). Put both chopped chocolates into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until boiling then pour over the chocolate. Leave for a minute then stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the sticky orange concentrate.
- Remove the shortbread from the fridge and spoon 2 tablespoons of the ganache on top of the caramel in each mould. Return to the fridge to set.
- To make the chocolate decoration: gently melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of steaming hot (but not boiling) water – don’t let the water touch the base of the bowl. Meanwhile, fill the sink with ice cubes and cold water. When the chocolate is very smooth and reaches 44°C on the sugar thermometer, remove the bowl from the pan and plunge the base in the icy water. Stir constantly until it cools to 28°C, then place it over the steaming water again and stir until it reaches 31°
- Remove the bowl and set it on a heatproof surface. Stir frequently until the chocolate is slightly cooler and thicker. Meanwhile, cut a 18cm square from the acetate. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate in an even layer (2-3mm thick) over the acetate. Leave until nearly set but still flexible or ‘leather-like’, then stamp out 9 rounded shapes with the 6cm cutter. Leave to set.
- To assemble: peel off the acetate collars and set the shortbreads on a serving plate. Peel the discs away from the acetate and set one on top of each shortbread (avoid touching the chocolate). Lightly dust with the orange lustre powder.