Joao and I went to Sao Paulo’s Mercado Municipal last weekend – the one Anthony Bourdain visited in one episode of “No Reservations”; btw, I’ve read he said some mean things about the city. I hope he never comes back, thank you very much.
Mercado Municipal is a very traditional market, full of lots of types of food and ingredients, but it was my first time there. I went crazy with all the spices, nuts, fruits and veggies, cheese, olives... I got home with several new ingredients to cook and bake with. And an emptier wallet, too. :)
My first choice was some delicious dried apples I’d bought there– they were so good I was glad there was a lot more than the amount called for in the recipe. :)
I found these bars here and used a different pan to make them. Make sure you use a warm knife to slice the bars, so you won't mess up the topping like I did.
Toffee apple shortbreads
from Delicious magazine
110g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
40g caster sugar
175g all-purpose flour
100g dried ready-to-eat apples, finely sliced
450g firm dulce de leche*
200g dark chocolate, chopped and divided
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Grease and line a square 20cm (8in) baking pan, leaving some paper hanging out of the pan on at least two sides (it will make unmolding easier).
To make the shortbread base, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour and cornstarch and, using a rubber spatula, then your hands, work to a dough. Place in the pan and use your fingertips to roll out flat and into the corners – if you have much too warm hands you might try it with the back of a spoon, lightly dusted with flour.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.Scatter the apples over the cookie base, spread over the dulce de leche and level out. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.Melt 150g of the chocolate in a glass bowl over barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and quickly wipe the water with a kitchen tower – no water should be in contact with the chocolate. Add the remaining 50g of chocolate and beat well to melt it. Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel and apples, then spread evenly. Set aside to cool at room temperature for about 2 hours or until set. Remove from the pan and cut into squares.
* you can warm the dulce de leche into pouring consistency prior to adding it to the cookie base.
Makes 16 squares