Eat In: Bake off Millionaires Shortbread

A month or so ago we began a weekly bake off in work whereby two people would bring in something they’d baked and get marked on taste, appearance and technique against each other. Each week the participants would be given an ingredient that they had to include within their recipe, my week was caramel.

Fairly easy I thought even if I hadn’t ever baked anything with caramel before. And so began the standard Pinterest search – “recipes with caramel”.  I’m not a huge fan of caramel so looked for a recipe that would give me a hardened, thicker caramel layer opposed to a gooey, rich version and this will certainly deliver on that.

Millionaires shortbread came out on top and frequently throughout the search.  I’ve made shortbread on numerous occasions and the top of millionaires shortbread is simply melted chocolate. All I needed to nail was the caramel in that case, simples! Or not …

My caramel did not go according to the recipe at all! I followed the instructions religiously as I always do with new recipes but it wasn’t thickening. After half an hour, a lot of shouting and swearing every time my boyfriend tried to come in the kitchen and to be honest in a last ditch attempt I whacked the heat right up and so began the caramelisation, lumpiness and almost burning! Eeeekkk … BUT don’t give up and throw it away (like I very almost did!) because once this hardens in the fridge it doesn’t make a difference and was still super yummy!

Make sure you don’t leave the kitchen when you’re cooking the caramel as it needs a lot of attention and I found myself continuously stirring the mixture just in case it started sticking or burning (it still did). After a couple of minutes on high I turned the hob down so it was simmering on a medium heat and regardless of my constant stirring the caramel was still lumpy. I decided to carry on with the recipe and layered my caramel on top of the shortbread leaving it to set in the fridge while I went out for the afternoon.

Caramel disaster averted and once I had topped with chocolate and allowed it to set I was really happy with the end result.  Not only were the lumps no more but the caramel was a rich hardened texture that wasn’t too sweet or sickly.

My bake off counterpart also made Millionaire’s Shortbread and we came away with a joint score of 7.8 – I’ll take that for a first attempt!

 

Ingredients

Base;

10oz shortbread, crumbled

7 tbsp butter, melted

Caramel;

1/4 cup of brown sugar

6 tbsp butter, melted

12oz evaporated milk

Chocolate;

7oz semi-sweet chocolate

5oz dark chocolate

1tbsp butter, melted

Milkybar buttons for decoration

Base;

  1. Grease an 8×8 baking tin
  2. Add the crumbled shortbread to a bowl and mix in your melted butter until all of the shortbread is covered and moist
  3. Press the shortbread mixture into the pan evenly and firmly
  4. Refrigerate until hardened

Caramel layer;

  1. Add sugar, butter and evaporated milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil on a medium to high heat
  2. Reduce the heat slightly until the caramel begins to thicken
  3. Reduce the heat to low until the caramel is thick (and hopefully not lumpy like mine was – although this isn’t a disaster!)
  4. This should take no longer than half an hour
  5. Pour over the hardened shortbread base evenly and refrigerate again until cold and hardened so the chocolate does not mix with the caramel

Chocolate topping;

  1. Set up your Bain Marie (large bowl placed on top of a saucepan of simmering water) and melt the dark chocolate together with the butter
  2. Pour on top of your hardened caramel to layer
  3. Melt some milkybar buttons in the microwave and using a chopstick swirl into the chocolate, or decorate however you wish
  4. Refrigerate until set and Enjoy!
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