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    Fudgy espresso walnut shortbread

    Crumbly biscuit with a squidgy topping makes for a grown-up traybake. Cut into small squares for morning coffee or mini bites after dinner. 

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes, plus cooling

    Makes: 16 squares


    100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
    50g light brown muscovado sugar
    150g plain flour
    1 tbsp maple syrup
    50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
    1 tsp vegetable oil

    Espresso walnut topping:
    175g walnuts
    50g unsalted butter
    150g light brown muscovado sugar
    1 tbsp espresso powder
    5 tbsp maple syrup
    1 tbsp plain flour
    2 eggs 


    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 23cm square cake tin; line with baking parchment. Start with the shortbread. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon, until pale. Fold in the flour, maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Press into the tin, smooth the surface, prick with a fork and freeze for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts for the topping in the oven for 8 minutes; cool and roughly chop. Bake the shortbread for 20 minutes, until golden.

    2. For the topping, melt the butter in a pan, then simmer for 3 minutes, until the white solids turn golden and it smells toasty. Take the pan off the heat, then whisk in the remaining topping ingredients and stir in the toasted nuts. Pour onto the hot shortbread and bake for 30 minutes, until risen and set. Cool completely in the tin.

    3. To decorate, melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave or a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Drizzle over the bake (there will be some left over) and transfer to the fridge briefly for the chocolate to set, before cutting into squares. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Food app edition for FREE. Find out more.


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