I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with millionaire’s shortbread. I absolutely love to eat it, but making it is such a pain when you cannot for the life of you get the caramel to set! Happily, I think I’ve actually managed to nail it this time thanks to the power of social media.
The shortbread base itself was nothing particularly special – just good ol’ butter, sugar flour and a little salt. No problem.
I was absolutely determined to find out how to make the caramel properly, so I took to Facebook to ask my friends on there for any tips. Lo and behold, Rachel over at A Jar of Happiness came to the rescue with what looked like (and actually was) a foolproof recipe.
I made the caramel, poured it over the shortbread base and left it in the fridge overnight to set. And yes, I may have resorted to a spot of ‘fridge and pray’ action, for any Great British Bake Off fans out there!
I was incredibly, incredibly relieved when I took the tin out of the fridge and I could actually touch the caramel without it coming away on my finger. Maybe there is a baking god up there after all…?
After that, it was a simple matter of melting some milk chocolate, pouring it over the caramel and giving it another few hours in the fridge to set before slicing it up into bars. I used a bar of Choceur chocolate from Aldi, which is an excellent range of chocolate and very reasonably priced (I’m nibbling away at their rum raisin and nut chocolate as I type).
Taste-wise, the shortbread was absolutely divine. At first, I was a little worried that it might have been too salty due to using salted butter and then adding more salt on top, but the sweetness of the caramel and chocolate makes a pleasing contrast – I probably wouldn’t add any salt if I used dark chocolate in this recipe in future, though.
If you too have struggled with making the perfect millionaire’s shortbread, give this recipe a go!
Makes 16 small squares, 12 small bars or 8 large bars
For the shortbread:
- 225g plain flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 175g butter
- Pinch of salt
For the caramel:
- 100g butter
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 397g can of condensed milk
For the chocolate:
- 200g good quality milk or dark chocolate (if you choose the latter, opt for 50-60% cocoa content)
- Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas mark 2. Line a shallow 20cm square baking tin with baking paper.
- To make the shortbread, sift the flour and salt into a bowl and stir in the sugar.
- Rub in the butter until it forms clumps, then press the mixture into the bottom of the tin.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until it’s a pale golden brown. I had to leave my shortbread in my gas oven for about 50 minutes before it got to this point, but your oven may differ to mine! Leave the shortbread to cool in the tin.
- To make the caramel, melt the butter and sugar in a pan, stirring all the while. Keep stirring as you add the condensed milk and turn the heat up to boil for 1 minute.
- Pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread and set the whole lot in the fridge, for a couple of hours minimum but ideally overnight.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and pour over the set caramel, tilting the tin to make sure it gets into all the corners. Return the shortbread to the fridge to set for a further 30 minutes or so.
- Cut up the shortbread into squares or bars. Stuff your face and feel happy!