Wanna feel like a million bucks (or pounds, depending on your currency)? Then get in the kitchen and bake this:
* Enter carol of angels *
Okay, so maybe the photo doesn’t show it for the general awesomeness that it is and it looks a lot like an ordinary peanut butter square, but make no mistake. This is Millionaire’s Shortbread, a rich confection that layers dark chocolate atop gooey caramel spread over buttery shortbread. A Twix Bar-like dessert done on a big scale. I’m not sure where this gorgeous creature got its name but it is a British classic and rightly so.
Matthew made a batch last night (I am NOT the baker in our house and would never attempt such a complex dessert), based on Roxanne’s Millionaire’s Shortbread recipe from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess cookbook. It tastes like a million calories but in a good way.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 2/3 cups unsalted butter
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 9-inch square pan or similar, greased and the bottom lined with parchment or wax paper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Put the flour and sugar into a bowl and rub in 12 tablespoons of the butter, clumping the dough together to form a ball. Press this sandy shortbread mixture into the tin and smooth it either with you hands or a spatula. Prick it with a fork and cook for 5 minutes, then lower the oven to 300 degrees F, and cook it for a further 30-40 minutes until it is pale golden and no longer doughy. Let it cool in the tin.
Melt the remaining butter in the microwave (in a large microwavable bowl) for 2-3 minutes, then add the condensed milk and golden syrup. Whisk the mixture well until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Heat for 6-7 minutes until it is boiling, stirring thoroughly every minute. As a microwave novice, I found this bit difficult and had to watch that I didn’t burn the toffee mixture (I did once), which is why I caution you to check and stir every minute. It’s ready when it’s thickened and turned a light golden brown. Pour this molten toffee evenly over the cooled shortbread and leave it to set.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in a bowl in a microwave. Pour and spread evenly over the fudge mixture (the less you touch it, the shinier it will be) and leave it to cool. Once set, cut the caramel shortbread into pieces. The squares can be stored in the fridge to keep them firm, though if it’s winter that shouldn’t be necessary.
Makes about 24.