In honour of World Chocolate Day, check out this easy and delicious recipe for millionaire’s shortbread from Sue Lawrence’s wonderful book, Scottish Baking.
Makes about 24 slices
There are so many variations of this divine treat: for example instead of making a shortbread base from scratch, combine shortbread biscuits(about 300g/10.oz) with about 50g/1.oz melted butter and press into the base of the tin.
Or you can add whole roasted hazelnuts – scatter these over the caramel before topping with chocolate.
Or you can use a chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream mixture) instead of melted chocolate for the topping.
I like to add some sea salt flakes for a contrast of flavour, the saltiness a great foil to the sweet filling.
You can also decorate the chocolate topping, once hard, by melting a couple of handfuls of toffees in a little milk until runny, then drizzling over the set chocolate.
225g/8oz butter, softened
100g/3.oz golden caster sugar
225g/8oz plain flour, sifted
100g/3.oz cornflour, sifted
Filling and topping:
2 x 397g tins of caramel or
2 x 397g tins condensed milk
1 heaped tsp sea salt flakes, optional
300g/10.oz quality chocolate (I like one-third milk, two-thirds dark)
If you are using tins of condensed milk for the filling, you need to start the day before: place the unopened cans on their sides in a heavy saucepan and cover with boiling water; the water should almost cover the tins. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, checking the water and topping up with boiling water if necessary. Remove the cans and cool completely before opening.
For the base, cream the butter and sugar together well, until pale. (I do this in a food mixer; you can do it by hand if you prefer.) Now add the flours, a pinch of salt and blend briefly, until combined. Tip into a prepared tin (a Swiss-roll tin, 23 x 33cm/9 x 13in), lined with baking parchment: the best way to do this is to use two long strips, one going across, one down). Using floured hands, press down to make it level all over, then prick over gently with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven (150C/300F/Gas 2) for about 40 minutes or until a uniform pale golden all over. Remove and cool.
For the filling, spoon the caramel over the shortbread base. If using, sprinkle over the sea salt. Melt the chocolate and pour over the top, tipping the tin from side to side to spread the chocolate evenly over the surface. Place in the fridge to set, but remove and mark into squares after about 20 minutes (or before the chocolate becomes completely hard).
Once completely set (2–3 hours later), remove from the tin onto a board, using the two pieces of baking parchment to lift it. Using a hot sharp knife cut all the way through the base and, taking it slowly, cut all the pieces, running the knife under a hot tap and wiping dry before each slice.
Try not to eat too many slices in one sitting.
For more scrumptious recipes like these, check out Scottish Baking by Sue Lawrence.