22 November, 2009

November recipe: Fudge squares

There are lots of variations of this tea-time treat, under lots of different names. I have always known it as Fudge Squares, or sometimes Chocolate Caramel Shortbread, but I’ve seen something very similar called Millionaires’ Shortbread or even Billionaires’ Shortbread. Inflation being what it is, I suppose Trillionaires’ Shortbread is only a matter of time. Anyway, here is my recipe. If you want to make the caramel or chocolate layers thicker, just increase the quantity.

Fudge Squares

Biscuit base:
6oz (approx 150 g) plain flour
2 oz (approx 50 g) light brown soft sugar
3 oz (approx 75 g) butter
0.25 teaspoon (0.25 x 5 ml spoon) bicarbonate of soda (if you can’t measure a quarter of a teaspoon, you’re not alone. I treat this as “a smidgeon”)
1 egg, beaten

Fudge topping:
2 oz (approx 50 g) butter
2 oz (approx 50 g) light brown soft sugar. If you like a really rich treacly flavour, use half dark muscovado sugar
6 dessertspoons (approx 60 ml) milk

Chocolate topping:
2 oz (approx 50 g) plain chocolate.

Grease a shallow baking tin about 7” (approx 18 cm) square.

Rub the butter into the flour, sugar and bicarbonate of soda until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the beaten egg and mix to a stiff dough.

Press the dough evenly into the base of the greased baking tin. This is easier if you lightly dust your hands with flour, as the dough tends to be sticky.

Bake at about 180 – 200 C for about 25-30 minutes until set and light golden brown. Cool in the tin.

Put the ingredients for the fudge topping in a small saucepan, and heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.

Increase the heat and boil gently, STIRRING ALL THE TIME, for 6-7 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to look like fudge.

Remove from the heat and pour evenly over the biscuit base. Spread the fudge using a table knife into a roughly even layer over the top of the biscuit base. Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Pour evenly over the fudge topping, using a table knife to spread the chocolate if necessary. Leave to cool.

When the chocolate has set, loosen the edges of the biscuit base from the tin using a blunt knife. Put a flat board over the tin and invert it so the fudge square falls out of the tin and onto the board chocolate side down. Remove the tin. Cut into 12 pieces. You can cut it up in the baking tin if you like, but I find it easier to cut up if it is turned out chocolate side down.

Keeps in an airtight tin for a week or so.


Meghan said...


Constance Brewer said...

Ack! Carla, you are an enabler. Must make! Looks awesome. Love your recipes, and thanks for 'translating' measurements for us here on the other side of the pond.

"Just increase the quantity"?

Haven't you done enough damage without this type of encouragement? *g*

Jules Frusher said...

Ooooh yum! I love those! I feel hungry just looking at the picture!

Kathryn Warner said...

We always call them caramel squares in my family. Yummy!

Sarah Cuthbertson said...

This is a seriously rich concoction, so I can understand why it's sometimes called Millionaire's Shortbread.

My husband's family used to call it "Sudden Death". The first time they invited me to Sunday high tea, it was alarming to be offered Sudden Death. I thought the family must have taken a violent dislike to me.

I've no idea why they called it Sudden Death - and neither did they. It must have been a family tradition. Maybe Great Auntie Mabel from Haltwhistle coincidentally popped her ancient clogs directly after eating some in about 1892.

Gabriele Campbell said...

Must. Resist. Temptation. :)

Carla said...

Thanks, everyone.

Sarah - that's a name I've never heard before! How strange. Could it be related to puddings like 'Death by Chocolate' that you occasionally see on pub menus? Someone I know once ordered that and then asked for their money back because they were still alive :-)