I’ve been planning to make these for a while now, and after cooking so health-consciously this week for Elaine, the time was right for this fat and sugar feast. I’m afraid, there’s nothing healthy in these indulgent layers of sinfulness, but I am absolutely going to tag them as ‘vegetarian’ and ‘egg-free’, just in case…
I have no idea about the history of millionaire shortbread, but a very clear understanding of their appeal: the contrast of textures and flavours is absolutely moreish, even when you know that each square has enough calories to last you a month. The shortbread is crumbly and ever so slightly salty, the caramel sticky and sweet, and the lot is finished off with a layer of dark, almost bitter chocolate. But not just millionaires like them – in fact, I am officially reclaiming millionaire shortbread for the proletariat, or whatever you want to call the non-millionaires these days.
Millionaire Shortbread (makes loads, but they store well. And not just on your hips)
For the shortbread:
- 200g unsalted butter
- 300g plain flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 tbs vanilla sugar
- pinch of salt
- grated zest of 1 lemon
For the caramel:
- 100g caster sugar
- 50g golden syrup
- 100g butter
- 400g condensed milk (2 tins)
For the chocolate couverture:
- 150g dark chocolate couverture
Line a swiss roll tin or similar (23 x 33cm or 9″ x 13″) with baking paper. In a food processor, chop the ingredients for the shortbread until they are completely mixed. Press the crumbs into a ball shape, wrap it and place it in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 360F. Place the doughball into the tin and press it into a thin layer. Don’t overwork it, otherwise you’ll loose the crumbly texture. Prick it a few ties with a fork, pop it in the oven and bake it for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it cool down.
Keep stirring until it starts bubbling, after about 5 minutes it will start getting a little darker – keep at it until it has a rich golden caramel colour. Don’t be tempted to lick it off the spoon to see if it tastes like caramel. This is very unhygenic and you will burn your tongue. And it hurts. I read that on wikipedia, obviously.
All in all this should take just a little over ten minutes. Pour the runny mix into the tin, on top of the shortbread, and leave it all to cool completely.
Finally, when it is completely cooled down, you can prepare the chocolate couverture. Bring a little water to boil in a small casserole, then place a small bowl on the top of the cassetole: take care for it not to touch the water. Place the chocolate couverture in the bowl and leave it to melt. I always switch off the heat when I put in the couverture as the remaining steam is usually enough to melt it.
I’m bringing mine along to Angie’s Fiesta Friday blog party, to celebrate my photography post being featured! It’s a great honour, and you’ll understand that when you see the competition … Every Friday, lots of bloggers get together at Angie’s, bringing a long a post which they link up to the site. This week she’ll be helped by two fantastic bloggers, Michelle @Giraffes Can Bake and Juju @ cookingwithauntjuju. The party means visiting each other’s blogs, which means you’ll be able to meet the most amazing bloggers out there and get loads of brilliant recipes in the bargain. Check it out – I might see you there!