Monday, November 17, 2014

Sticky toffee squares

Sticky toffee squares / Quadradinhos de caramelo

I have a sweet tooth and that’s not a secret, but there are sweets and desserts that have a special place in my heart for something other than their taste: they remind me of certain periods of my life, certain days and occasions, and that makes them extra special.

When I was a kid my grandmother would make dulce de leche at home every now and then, and it was one of my favorite things: it was delicious on its own, by the spoonful, spread on sliced of bread, with cheese… The thought of it makes my mouth water already – grandma used to make a big pot of dulce de leche at a time, but it never lasted long. :)

I still love dulce de leche, but I have never tried making it at home the way my grandmother used to – so far I’ve only made it by cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk in the pressure cooker, but nowadays it’s so easy to find Argentinean dulce de leche around here I don’t even do that anymore – all I do is open up a jar, and to stop myself from eating it all by myself I bake with it, too, making yummy things like these squares. :)

Sticky toffee squares
slightly adapted from the delicious Olive magazine

175g all purpose flour
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons ground almonds
175g unsalted butter, softened
150g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs

2/3 cup dulce de leche
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) square baking pan, line the bottom with a square of baking paper and butter it as well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and almond meal. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
Beat the flour mixture into the sugar and butter in 3 batches, adding an egg each time. Beat the mixture until smooth and then spoon it into the pan and level the top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then carefully unmold, peel off the paper and invert onto the rack to cool completely.

Icing: place dulce de leche and cream in a small bowl and mix to combine. Spread over the cooled cake. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 16

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