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Caramel Banana Shortbread

A favourite with Mo and the crowd, these banana inspired caramel shortbread would turn the head of any primate, homo sapien or haplorhine alike.

Ingredients –
1-2 hours preparation time
30 mins to 1 hour cooking time
Serves 8

For the caramel
200g/7oz unsalted butter
100g/7oz caster sugar
2 x 400g/14oz cans condensed milk

For the shortbread
250g/8¾oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus an extra
150g/5¼oz caster sugar
150g/5¼oz cornflour
300g/10½oz plain flour
4 large bananas, peeled and sliced

To serve
caramel sauce
banana ice cream
fresh mint


Preparation method
1. For the caramel, place the butter and sugar into a non-stick pan over
a low heat, stirring until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Add
the condensed milk and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously,
to make the caramel. As soon as the mixture thickens and begins to
smell of caramel, remove from the heat.
2. For the shortbread, preheat the oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3.
3. Cream the butter with the sugar in a large bowl until it is light and
fluffy. Sift the cornflour and plain flour into the bowl. Mix and gently
knead the dough until it comes together in a ball.
4. Line a 20cm/8in x 30cm/12in baking tin with non-stick baking
parchment. Roll out two-thirds of the dough to fit the tin and lay it
inside, pressing it neatly into the edges.
5. Spread three quarters of the condensed-milk caramel evenly over
the base (the rest will keep in a covered bowl in the fridge for up to
two weeks). Lay the banana slices over the caramel and then
crumble the remaining third of the dough over the top.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. The caramel should have bubbled up a little
among the dough and the top of the shortbread should be
golden-brown. Leave it to cool in the tin for five minutes before
cutting it into squares. Allow to cool completely before removing from
the tin.
7. To serve, reheat the shortbread squares. Serve with banana ice
cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint.

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