Many things pass me by in life, but the UK National Chocolate Week, isn’t one of them. So when I found out that this week was National Chocolate Week, I was bubbling over with excitement! If I were in the UK, I would absolutely be hot-footing it to the Chocolate Unwrapped event that’s happening this weekend in Covent Garden, London. If you’re a chocolate lover and in London this weekend, why not pop in?
I love a Twix. I’m not sure if it’s counted as a biscuit or a chocolate bar – but however it’s classified, I know it’s one of my fave bars to devour. I like nothing better than a challenge. So when somebody was talking about whether you could recreate shop bought chocolate bars – a Twix immediately sprung to mind. I thought they would be pretty easy to replicate, as they’re just chocolate, shortbread and caramel, and all the ingredients are available in India. Result! Mine are definitely a LOT bigger than the shop bought ones (I was a bit overzealous with my chocolate dipping!), which can’t be wrong! However, mine are definitely lacking a certain finesse on the finish – I need to work on that. They are, however, extremely tasty!
Makes around 20 to 25 fingers, depending on how thick or thin you cut them.
For the shortbread
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 50g icing sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 100g cornflour
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Good pinch of salt
For the caramel filling
- 120g butter
- 225g brown sugar (I used light soft brown sugar)
- 200g condensed milk
- 120ml golden syrup or light corn syrup
- 1tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate covering
- 400g of milk chocolate
To make the shortbread
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C.
- Cream the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy
- Add in the vanilla extra and mix in.
- Sieve in the icing sugar, plain flour and cornflour and mix until a dough is formed.
- Pop in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Using your hands, press the dough into a swiss roll tin (or whatever you have available), until it has filled the tin completely.
- Using a fork, prick the surface of the dough, so any steam can escape, leaving you with a crisp shortbread, instead of a soggy one.
- Put in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the tray around half way through the cooking process.
- When the shortbread is pale, but no longer doughy it’s done.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 5 to 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Leave to cool completely.
To make the caramel
- Pour all the ingredients into a heavy-based saucepan.
- Over a high heat, bring all the ingredients to a boil until the sugar has dissolved.
- Turn the heat down to a medium heat and continue to stir. There’s a lot of sugar in this pan, so by stirring constantly, you’ll avoid any of it scorching and creating a burnt taste to your caramel.
- If you have a sugar thermometer, put it in the pan and when it reaches 234F/112C to 242F/116C, your caramel is done (this is around 20 to 25 minutes). The higher the temperature the harder/chewier your caramel will be.
- If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, put a bowl of very cold water next to the stove and after around 18 minutes, drop a small amount of the caramel mixture in. Put your hand in and try to form a ball with it. If you can bring it out and it stays whole, then it’s ready. If not, carry on boiling until it reaches a ball stage. N.B. Please be VERY careful making the caramel. Sugar burns are horrible.
- When the caramel is ready, pour over the cooled shortbread and pop in the fridge to completely harden.
- Once hardened, cut into finger size pieces. Or smaller if you are feeling virtuous!
To make the chocolate covering
- Put the finger sized pieces into the freezer, as this will make dipping/covering them in the chocolate much easier.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put two thirds of it into a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Be careful not to get any water in the bowl with the chocolate, as it will seize and you’ll have to start all over again.
- Leave the chocolate to melt, occasionally stirring.
- Once melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan (be careful it will be hot). Wrap a tea towel around the base and add in the remaining chopped chocolate.
- Keep stirring, until all the chocolate is melted.
- Put in a confectionary thermometer and wait until the chocolate has cooled to 30C/86F. It’s now time to finish the bars off!
To make the bars
- Remove the fingers from the freezer (if you live in warmer climes, I suggest taking only a few out at a time, as otherwise they’ll soften quite quickly, making the chocolate covering process more difficult) and either dip them in the chocolate placed on a fork, or use a knife (a small butter one would be ideal) to completely cover the finger in chocolate.
- Place on baking or greaseproof paper until set.
- Store in an airtight container. If in warmer climes, keep in the ‘fridge.
Domestic Princess tips:
- If you don’t fancy making the caramel layer yourself, melt 450g of shop bought caramel or toffee, in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, with 1 1/2 tablespoons of double cream.
- The purpose of tempering the chocolate is so that it retains its glossy finish and cracks in the same way it did before it was melted. But, as The Domestic Prince pointed out, shop bought Twix bars don’t really have a glossy finish, so I wouldn’t be stressing too much about tempering.
- If tempering the chocolate sounds like too much of a faff, or you don’t have a thermometer, then just melt it and let it cool down for around 15 minutes before dipping the biscuits in.
- For a more sophisticated Twix, swap the milk chocolate for 70% cocoa dark chocolate. Tempering this chocolate will be more important.
- If your melted chocolate is too thick, add a tablespoon of unflavoured oil. I’ll definitely be doing this next time.
- In the US, they have Twixes with peanut butter, so if you are a peanut butter lover, then replace the caramel layer with a layer of smooth (sweetened) peanut butter. Something like this Skippy one would be perfect.
- Bangaloreans, I spied Lyle’s Golden Syrup in Nature’s Basket, Whitefield yesterday.
A BIG thank you to The Domestic Prince for helping me make these last night. He was instrumental in making the caramel and cutting the shortbread layer. Some days I shouldn’t be around molten liquids and super sharp knives, and yesterday was one of those days!
These homemade Twixes are easy to make, if not a bit time consuming. I can promise though, that they are worth every minute of your time and effort. You will thank me after your first bite!
Any other chocolate bars you’d like me to try and recreate?
With much chocolate love
The Domestic Princess