Great British Bake Off Challenge: Coconut and Almond Millionaire's Shortbread

Watching last week's episode of the bake off I knew I was definitely not attempting the floating islands and I decided against the trifle as I don't have the right bowl. Those floating islands look like they might have given me a nervous breakdown over something that didn't look overly appetising. This left the petit fours. I spent a lot of the week thinking of different ideas and in the end I decided to shake up a classic with two of my favourite flavours. I should add that turning one of your favourite bakes into tiny bite size portions means you are more likely to eat the whole thing.
 
I seem to have become a bit preoccupied with makeup at the moment. I think it must be because nothing fits me and there's no point in buying anything that will only be worn for less than three months. So as a result I figure I'll try and make the most of my face to make me feel better about literally struggling to get off the sofa...seriously, Nick had to help me the other day. I've never spent a lot of money and my makeup routine is pretty simple but I decided my makeup bag needed sprucing up before I go into hospital. Nick very kindly tried to persuade me I didn't need concealer but frankly I need it more than ever now.
 
I'm sorry for rambling on about make up...this is not a beauty blog but this is the blog of tired pregnant lady who has eaten too many tiny millionaire's shortbreads and doesn't want her face to reflect that. I'm definitely enjoying the drop in temperature. I love the cool crisp misty mornings and the fact that I can wear tights and a scarf. I love feeling cosy and wearing my slippers again. You can't beat Autumn!
 
Coconut Almond Millionaire's Shortbread
 
for the almond shortbread:
200g unsalted butter, softened
115g golden caster sugar
140g ground almonds
140g plain flour
 
for the coconut caramel:
300g salted butter, diced
140g golden caster sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1x 397g can carnation caramel
120g desiccated coconut, toasted
 
around 30 whole almonds
350g dark chocolate, broken into the chunks
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F and line a 30x22cm baking tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the ground almonds and flour and mix to form a soft dough. Press into the base of the baking tin, prick with a fork and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden.
  3. Leave to cool completely and make a start on the coconut caramel filling. Spread the coconut over a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
  4. Melt the butter, sugar, golden syrup and caramel in a pan and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring constantly. It is important to keep stirring so that it doesn't burn. The mixture will darken a little and thicken.
  5. Add 80g of the toasted coconut, stir and poor over the cooled shortbread, spreading out to the edges. Decide roughly where you want your squares to be cut and place a whole almond in the centre of each square (I ended up cutting some bits off the sides to make even squares but that's just because of the tin I used). Leave to cool completely.
  6. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and melt until smooth. Pour over the cooled caramel mix and gently spread out with a palette knife. Sprinkle over the rest of the toasted coconut and leave the chocolate to set.