Sunday, 18 May 2014

Millionaire's Shortbread

If you have ever looked at my Recipe Book page you may have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for shortbread. This is quite accidental that I have several variations of this classic on here but nonetheless they are all warranted. I've mentioned in just about all of these posts how shortbread is a speciality of my mum's and it always has lovely connotations with it (as well as a lovely taste!) so I've inadvertantly put my own stamp on the tradition in the form of meddling additions.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Chocolate Shortbread as a quick, easy and delicious step away from the norm. Perfect with a cup of tea. Or even hot chocolate. Drinkable chocolate with chocolate shortbread to dunk? Yes please.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Apricot and Walnut Shortbread for a fruity nutty variation. Lots of different textures and falvours in there and still perfect with a cup of tea.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Brown Sugar Shortbread is still the buttery biscuit in its classic form with a hint of a caramel flavour.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Ginger Iced Shortbread created by my mum for my brother but I got a hankering for it after the usual season had passed so I made my own.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Gluten Free Shortbread for my housemate who has to miss out on so many other goodies and this is one of the ones she misses the most.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Oddly, I haven't actually done a separate post for the classic recipe, on its own, in all its glory. I think I'll have to rectify that soon. If I don't get distracted by another adaptation before then.
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
Millionaire's Shortbread though is somehting else entirely. Called Caramel Shortbread Bars by some, that title really doesn't do it justice. Made in our house by Mum only at Christmas and for the most necessary of occasions where extreme comfort is needed, these are my absolute favourite version. I defy anyone to turn down the most richly buttery of biscuit bases hiding underneath the glory that is a sweet, creamy caramel made from condensed milk them topped a layer of brooding chocolate. You can of course use whichever chocolate you prefer but we always go for a Bournville type dark chocolate which tempers the sheer ambrosia of the lower layers just enough so you can float back down to earth for another piece/fix before the plate has been emptied by others having the same wistful dreams. 
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
My only sadness in this is that for some reason I have never been able to get the caramel that my mum uses just right myself. I've tried many a time and had to take the failures into uni as a result where they nonetheless disappeared too quickly to count despite their gritty faults. Eventually I said to myself enough is enough an went for a slightly different caramel. I won't say it is better than Mum's because that one will always be the best but this one is so close it is unreal. I will not believe you if you say when using condensed milk you don't sneak a spoonful or two (alright, five) like I do and this one tastes so similar to said condensed milk that I really struggled to pour it onto the base and not eat the hot concoction straight from the pan. 
Millionaires Shortbread or Caramel Shortbread - these bars are a perfect luxury
I think this is my cue to leave before I get myself into an even bigger guilty hole.


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Millionaire's Shortbread
A thick. buttery shortbread base covered with the most delicious caramel and finished off with a dark chocolate topping.
Ingredients
For the shortbread:
  • 4oz butter, softened
  • 2oz caster sugar
  • 1oz semolina or cornflour
  • 5oz plain flour
For the caramel:
  • 125g butter
  • 1 397g tin of condensed milk
  • 75g golden syrup
To finish:
  • Approx 175g chocolate, chopped
Instructions
1. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan and grease a shallow 8" square tin.2. Cream the butter and sugar until just incorporated then mix in the flour. Form into a ball then press into the tin making sure it is level. 3. Bake for about 30 mins until just the palest of golden browns. Cool on a wire rack but do not remove from the tin.4. For the caramel, place all the ingredients into a pan and over a low heat stir until melted. Have a glass of ice cold water ready then turn up the heat and continue stirring constantly making sure all areas of the pan base are covered so none of the caramel catches and burns. Let the caramel simmer gently until thickened and a rich golden caramel colour. Continue until a small blob dropped into the cold water forms a soft ball.*4. When ready pour onto the shortbread and leave to cool. Pop any bubble that form.5. When the caramel has set, melt the chocolate using your preferred method, cool slightly and pour over the caramel. Leave to set then turn out and cut into squares - I always make 16 though I would prefer to eat the entire piece in one go.

*Cooks perks dictate you pour the water away and enjoy that test caramel as your own.

When I set the theme as 'favourites' for this months Biscuit Barrel challenge I hadn't thought about it very much. I realised that I don't have an all time 'normal' biscuit favourite but then I remembered this Millionaire's shortbread recipe and all was ok again. They are definitely a favourite treat.
In honour of World Baking Day which is today, May 18th, Kat from The Baking Explorer has set the theme of Treat Petite (alternating host duties with Stuart from Cakeyboi) this month as something you would bake for others. Mum always bakes this for our family and I want to learn the skill of this recipe so I can do the same in time to come.
Also in honour of May, Rachel from Dollybakes has set the theme of this months Calendar Cakes as Bank Holiday Bakes. I made these especially to relax and they are ideal as a finishing treat to take on picnics wrapped in their little individual packages, just like my mum does.

12 comments:

  1. I could, quite possibly, be drooling here a little bit. Oh goodness me I'm coming to visit RIGHT NOW, make me any of these, will you? :)

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  2. What a line-up Laura! Everyone sounds delicious to me :)

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  3. There is something very wicked about eating millionaire's shortbread......... never too sure whether it is the sheer decadence of creamy caramel and chocolate and crisp buttery shortbread or the guilt of consuming all those calories (let's face it..... even when you feel sick with sugar, you still have to eat another one!)? These are definitely drool-worthy specimens!!

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    Replies
    1. Haha thank you! I try to forget the calories when eating this - it's too good to spoil with guilt!

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  4. Wow, all of these sound delicious! Ginger icebread sounds like it would be my favourite.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you can try it, the ginger one is really easy but yummy =)

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  5. Oh wow, this is my faorite treat ever. and this recipe turned out just perfect for us. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

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