This seasonal take on the classic combined the indulgent textures of smooth caramel and chocolate with the Christmas flavours of brandy and spice. Slice for a Christmas party, or wrap slices to deliver as little Christmas gifts. The caramel method is kept simple, with no sugar thermometers, and a sneaky addition of a little lemon juice to prevent the dreaded crystallisation; it’s easier than you might think!


Prep time – 40 minutes

Bake time – 20 minutes

Chill time – 1-2 hours



For the shortbread:

  • 200g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • Zest of 1 orange

For the caramel:

  • 800g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • Few drops lemon juice
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 100ml double cream
  • 200g mincemeat (shop-bought or even better, homemade)
  • 1 tsp salt

For the chocolate:

  • 450g dark chocolate
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 50g white chocolate
  • Few drops red and green food colour gels


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180oC fan and line a rectangular cake tin (tray-bake tin) with greaseproof paper

Make the shortbread:

  • creaming together the butter and sugar
  • Mix in the flour spice and zest until a dough forms
  • Tip the dough into the cake tin and press down (using the back of a spoon) to create an even layer over the base of the tin
  • Bake for 20 minutes

Make the caramel:

  • Add the sugar, water and lemon juice to a saucepan over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves
  • Turn the hob heat up to medium, meanwhile, measure out the butter and cream ready
  • Watch the sugar mixture and as soon as a rich caramel brown colour is reached (think fudge colour – not took dark), quickly remove the pan from the heat and add the butter (carefully it will bubble), stir in the butter until fully melted then repeat with the cream and salt
  • Spread a thin layer of mincemeat over the shortbread base then pour the caramel over the top
  • Leave on the work surface until cool then refrigerate for 1-2 hours

Top with chocolate:

  • Melt the dark and white chocolate separately, either slowly in the microwave or in a bowl over simmering water
  • Stir the butter into the dark chocolate
  • Split the white chocolate into two and dye half red and half green
  • Pour the dark chocolate over the caramel, ensuring an even surface
  • Pipe or drizzle horizontal lines of red and green chocolate over the surface (these do not need to be neat or perfect!)
  • Use a cocktail stick to feather the chocolate by gentle running the point though the chocolate perpendicular to the lines you have just created. Alternate the direction of the lines (towards and away) for a pretty effect
  • Leave until the chocolate is fully set then slice