Saturday, 30 November 2013

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Well I do, if it means I get to eat things like this. Millionaire's shortbread - a buttery, crumbly shortbread base layered with smooth sticky caramel and topped with a thick layer of dark chocolate and feathered white chocolate. Calorie counters, look away NOW.

This shortbread is a wonderful thing. I made a batch last weekend and took it into work. Everyone had a piece...and then the deputy editor ate another three when my back was turned. Let that stand testament to how good this recipe is; when it comes to baking, gluttony is the highest form of flattery.

This recipe is really easy, if you can get the hang of making caramel and it can be made to look really pretty too. I apologise for the photos - flash always makes food look slightly lacklustre, but I made this in the evening, so leaving flash off wasn't really an option.

You will need:

For the shortbread:
250g plain flour
175g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
pinch of salt

For the caramel topping:
300g granulated sugar
60ml water
120ml single cream

For the chocolate:
300g dark chocolate
50g white chocolate
a piping bag
a cocktail stick

1. Grease and line a large, reasonably deep baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
2. Put all the dry shortbread ingredients into a large bowl. Cube the butter and rub into the flour and sugar with your fingertips to form a crumbly mixture. Press the crumbs into the baking sheet.
3.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until light golden in colour.
4. While the shortbread base is baking, put the granulated sugar and water for caramel in a small pan over a high heat. You may stir before the sugar has dissolved, but not afterwards, or the mixture will crystallise. Heat the sugar syrup until it turns golden brown in colour - it will also smell AMAZING.
5. Once the caramel is golden brown, take it off the heat and pour in the cream whilst stirring vigorously. Careful - it will spit. 
6. Once the shortbread base is out of the oven, pour the caramel over the top and leave to set. Shake the baking tin from side to side to ensure the caramel is even. Set aside.
7. Break up the dark chocolate and set it in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water to melt, stirring occasionally to ensure it does not stick or burn. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. 
8. Let the caramel set a little then pour the chocolate over the caramel, as evenly as possible. You can use a knife or spatula to spread, but careful not to penetrate the caramel layer. Shake the baking tin from side to side to ensure the chocolate is even.
9. Quickly, before the dark chocolate starts to set, break the white chocolate up and put it in a non-metallic bowl. Give it a few 30 second blasts in the microwave, stirring after each time until it is fully melted. Spoon into the piping bag.
10. Pipe parallel lines one way across the dark chocolate. Use a cocktail stick to feather the white chocolate, first one way, then the other. Leave to set before cutting into small squares - I find a pizza cutter dipped in hot water works well. 

I'm dribbling just looking at it.

Until next time bakelings,


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