Salt Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread
I can think of several children, forced to name their all-time favourite biscuit or cake, who would without hesitation say ‘millionaire’s shortbread’. Although not just any old millionaire’s, it’s got to be homemade. The offer here has the promise of a good chocolate along with a caramel with a hint of salt. The white chocolate marbling is pretty, though not essential.
Makes 1 x 23cm square tin
225g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
100g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
115g ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g unsalted butter70g golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup275g dulce de leche (or Nestlé’s Caramel Carnation)
1/3 level teaspoon fine sea salt
200g dark chocolate (approx. 50 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
25g white chocolate chips (optional)
Place all the ingredients for the shortbread in a food-processor and whizz to a dough. Butter a 27cm x18cm or 23cm square brownie tin and press the shortbread into the base, you can lay a sheet of clingfilm over the top to help smooth it. Prick with a fork, loosely cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 140°C fan/150°C/gas mark 2 and bake the shortbread straight from the fridge for 45 minutes until very lightly coloured, then leave it to cool.
Place all the ingredients for the caramel in a small non-stick saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until melted and amalgamated. Simmer very gently for 8–9 minutes, stirring frequently, then pour over the shortbread base and leave to cool for at least an hour until set, overnight is even better.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it, and smooth in a thin layer over the top of the caramel. If you want to marble the surface, then melt the white chocolate in the same way, and drop 1/4 teaspoons on top of the dark, and marble it by swirling with a cocktail stick or the top of a metal skewer. You have to work quite quickly here – if, for any reason, the dark chocolate starts to set, then you can pop it momentarily into a low oven until it softens again.
Set aside in a cool place until set but still soft, then cut into squares (a small serrated knife is best for this) and leave to set completely in a cool place, then chill. This sweet offering will keep well in a covered container for several days somewhere cool.
Kit: Sharp knife
(* Recipe excerpted from 'The Picnic Cookbook' by Annie Bell-Kyle Book, US Edition, June 2013, all rights reserved, photography by Jonathan Bell)