As I may have mentioned before, I absolutely love Millionaire’s Shortbread, my favourite cake of all time (though I appreciate that it may actually be a biscuit). This recipe is from Chocolate Magic by Kate Shirazi and has been my go to bake during Lockdown.
Makes 12-24 depending on how you cut it, I would suggest smaller pieces rather than larger – they pack quite a chocolate hit and are full of sugar!
Preheat the oven to 170 °C. Line a 28 x 20 cm tin with greaseproof paper. If you don’t have a square one, use a rectangular one and line it with greaseproof paper, then arrange the shortbread into a square at one end and cook as normal. Leave to cool, then prop the greaseproof paper up with something (sardine tines and / or Duplo bricks work quite well!) to keep the square shape and stop the caramel and chocolate flowing off the short edge.
For the shortbread
250g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g caster sugar
250g plain flour
First make the shortbread. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Stir in the flour and cornflour and combine until you have a smooth, pasty dough. Press the mixture into the tin, squishing it right to the edges and getting a smooth surface. Prick with a fork and then bake for 20 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Leave in the tin to cool.
For the caramel
175g caster sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 x 400g tin condensed milk (in peak Lockdown, I couldn’t get condensed milk and had to try with evaporated milk instead, but you need to add approx. 200g of sugar to the get the sugar content high enough to caramelise)
Salt flakes (if you like salted caramel)
For the caramel, put the butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk into a heavy pan and slowly, over a gentle heat, melt the mixture, stirring frequently. Once it has melted, bring it up to a gentle bubble and keep stirring. Do not stop stirring and be aware that the molten bubbling mass will spit at you when you are least expecting it. After about 5 minutes, it will be thicker and golden (add the salt at this stage and stir it in). Do not let it go a darker toffee colour as it will then turn into toffee and be almost impossible to bite through! Carefully pour onto the cooked and cooled shortbread and leave until it is set.
For the topping
350g chocolate (milk or plain)
Break the chocolate up, then melt it by either putting in a glass (or heat proof) bowl over a pan of gently simmering water – or if you are feeling brave, melt it in the microwave, but stop, check and stir every 30 seconds or so as burnt chocolate tastes disgusting. Pour it over the caramel and place the shortbread in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. When the chocolate has set, carefully cut it into squares as big or small as you want – see above note about the sugar hit!