Sprinkled-Fudge Shortbread

Rich, deeply flavoursome, and nicely sticky, these are a scrummy treat. The shortbread base balances the delicious decadence of the topping. In the recipe below there are some “options” for you to choose.

Makes: 16 moderate pieces

Time: 50 minutes + cooling

Level: Easy

Tins: 1 x 23cm/9” square baking tin

Ingredients

For the shortbread base

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 60g light muscovado sugar
  • 210g plain flour

For the fudge top

  • 1 x 397g tin of condensed milk or Dulce de Leche
  • 140g light brown sugar or golden caster
  • 80g salted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Various sprinkles

Method

Shortbread base

  1. Preheat oven to 160C/fan 140C/ Gas 3. Grease and line the tin. Lightly dust with flour.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then sift in the flour. Mix until it’s smooth.
  3. Tip into the prepared tin and press down firmly. Lightly prick with a fork and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Put aside to cool in the tin, or sit the tin in a sink with 1” – 2” cold water for a quicker cool.

Fudge topping

  1. Put the condensed milk (or Dulce de Leche), the sugar and the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat. Leave to melt.
  2. Once the sugar has fully dissolved and the butter has melted, bring the mixture to a boil. Keep cooking, stirring continuously, until it reaches 113°C on a sugar thermometer.*
  3. Remove pan from the heat and add the vanilla extract then any food colouring that you wish to use, if any. Keep stirring for at least five minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the cooled shortbread base. Tip the tin back and forth to ensure the mixture reaches all four corners and is spread evenly. Sprinkle your chosen sprinkles then place tin in fridge for about 2 hours to firm up.
  5. Once firm, remove from the tin and cut into pieces using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel that has been heated in hot water and dried.

* If you don’t have a sugar thermometer test the mixture is ready by dropping a small piece into a glass of cold water. If it forms a soft, flexible ball that flattens easily, it’s ready.

Finally, a word about fudge colour. The above photos show a very dark fudge, which suited the light sprinkles. However, the dark colour was a bit of an accident. I attempted to colour the fudge using “Grape Violet” food colouring. I also used Dulce de Leche rather than condensed milk. So, other versions could be much lighter – and equally tasty of course.