This Tahini Caramel Slice is a creamy, Middle Eastern twist on classic millionaire bars. A nutty sesame seed shortbread completely covered in creamy tahini caramel and topped with a thick layer of chocolate ganache. Think of it as a homemade Twix Bar…make that a homemade Lebanese Twix Bar!
WHAT IS CARAMEL SLICE (MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREAD)?
Caramel slice is known by many names. I’ve heard it called millionaire’s shortbread, millionaire bars, caramel shortbread. Despite the different names, these are all more or less the same dessert consisting of: a shortbread crust, a caramel filling and chocolate topping.
HOW IS THIS CARAMEL SLICE RECIPE DIFFERENT?
I have been wanting to make a caramel slice recipe for a while. There are already so many delicious recipes for millionaire bars though that I was waiting til I got an idea for something a bit different. Enter this Tahini Caramel Slice.
It started when I got the idea to add sesame seeds to the base. From there, I went online and found this amazing Middle Eastern Millionaire Shortbread by Ottolenghi. I also came across these Tahini Billionaire Bars made with a thick layer of tahini butterscotch from Bon Appetit. They sound incredible!
After thinking about original millionaire bars and these Ottolenghi and Bon Appetit versions, I came up with this Tahini Caramel Slice. Here’s what’s inside, in order from bottom to top:
- Sesame Shortbread Base: A buttery sesame shortbread
- Tahini Caramel Sauce: The nutty, delicious flavor of tahini and the gooey richness of caramel combined! It’s SO good and is the perfect sweet filling.
- Chocolate topping: A simple two ingredient chocolate ganache provides a thick chocolatey top layer!
WHAT’S IN THIS SESAME SHORTBREAD?
Sesame shortbread is the perfect tender, buttery, sweet but not too sweet base for this Tahini Caramel Slice. Shortbread is traditionally made with sugar, butter, and flour. This recipe includes those three ingredients along with a few variations.
DELICIOUS ADD INS
Toasted sesame seeds add a toasty flavor and slight crunch. They also emphasize the taste of the tahini caramel since tahini is basically ground toasted sesame seeds.
The shortbread also includes an egg yolk, both powdered sugar and brown sugar and a little water. These additional ingredients add flavor and give the crust a softer texture. It also helps the crust stay together a little better when it’s cut into bars.
ABOUT TAHINI CARAMEL
I can’t hide my love for caramel. My favorite caramel recipe just might be this delicious Maple Caramel (perfect for fall!) This Caramel Popcorn is ideal for both a snack or dessert. And because I’m a chocoholic, I had to make a chocolate caramel. It’s so good on top of shortbread and studded with salty, crunchy pretzels in these Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Pretzel Bars.
I’m also a huge tahini fan. I love it in everything and I mean everything: salads, as a sauce for baked fish or shawarma, in ice cream, and baked goods, too, of course! I love the flavor it gives these Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies and how creamy it makes these Tahini Brownies!
Tahini caramel combines the nutty creaminess of tahini with the gooey sweetness of caramel. It’s so good over the tender, slightly crumbly shortbread and covered in rich chocolate ganache.
TIPS FOR MAKING TAHINI CARAMEL
Making tahini caramel is not hard and doesn’t take long, but it does require your full attention. To make the process of making caramel easier, it’s important to read over the directions a few times BEFORE getting started. It’s also a good idea to have ALL your ingredients and materials prepared and next to the stove.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING TAHINI CARAMEL SAUCE
- Heavy Cream
If you’ve never made caramel before, it’s definitely helpful to watch it being made. Cooking Classy has this great video on making Caramel Sauce that’s super helpful. That said, I don’t really think you’ll have a problem making the caramel. It’s not difficult to make and it does not even require a candy thermometer!
THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE LAYER
The thick, rich chocolate layer is generously slathered on top of the caramel and seals in the other two layers. I love this chocolate layer because it’s DELICIOUS and it’s dead easy to make.
To make the ganache, or chocolate glaze, just melt chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl in the microwave.
LETTING THE BARS SET IN THE FRIDGE
After spreading the chocolate over the caramel, cover the bars and place them in the fridge for at least an hour to let them set.
TOP WITH SEA SALT OR SESAME SEEDS
This dessert is pretty perfect as is, but if you want a little added taste and style on top, sprinkle either flaky sea salt or additional toasted sesame seeds on top of the chocolate.
SERVING AND STORING
Store this Tahini Caramel Slice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Use a serrated knife to slice the bars, wiping the knife clean in between cuts.
This Tahini Caramel Slice is my Middle Eastern take on the classic Millionaire Bars. Layered with semisweet chocolate, tahini caramel, and toasted sesame seed “shortbread,” and topped with flaky sea salt. Each bite is gooey, slightly nutty, super chocolatey, and just so good!Print
Layered with sesame shortbread, creamy tahini caramel, and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. This Tahini Caramel Slice is three layers of deliciousness that everyone will love!
FOR THE SESAME SEED SHORTBREAD CRUST
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces, cold
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2– 1 1/4 tablespoons water
FOR THE TAHINI CARAMEL
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cup heavy cream, room temperature
- 3/4 cup tahini, room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 7 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
- flaky sea salt
- toasted sesame seeds
FOR THE SESAME SEED SHORTBREAD CRUST
- Preheat oven to 350 F and butter an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish. Line the bottom with two overlapping sheets of parchment paper, leaving at least a two inch overhang on all sides.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade, pulse to combine the flour, brown sugar, powdered sugar and salt. Add the sesame seeds and pulse once or twice to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is about the size of peas (some larger pieces are okay). Add the egg yolk and pulse until just incorporated then add the water.
- Turn dough out into the prepared pan and use your hands to press the mixture into the base of the pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and place the pan on a cooling rack to cool.
FOR THE TAHINI CARAMEL
- Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan set to medium heat. Using a light colored sauce pan is preferable so that you can better see when the sugar begins to change color. Bring the mixture to a boil and leave on a low boil over medium heat for 11-13 minutes until it turns deep reddish orange.
- Remove pan from heat and whisk in the butter and cream. Once the butter has melted, stir in the salt and tahini. Pour the tahini caramel sauce over the cooled shortbread. Use an offset spatula, if needed, to help spread the caramel evenly. Allow to cool for at least an hour before making and adding the chocolate layer over top.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING
- Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 25 second bursts, stirring well in between. Do this until the chocolate is just melted, being careful not to burn/overcook the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate over the tahini caramel and use an offset spatula to spread it. Sprinkle with sea salt and or toasted sesame seeds, if you like. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1- 2 hours or until chocolate has set.
Keywords: millionaire bars, caramel slice, tahini, tahini caramel, caramel, caramel sauce