Sunday baking: the ultimate millionaire’s shortbread

Its title precedes it, the lottery winner among bars. There is, however, a lot of mediocre stuff around that is definitely a few bob short of a million, and it is very worthwhile making your own.


Millionaire’s Shortbread

Makes 9-16 large, or 25 miniature squares

Ingredients

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For the shortbread
225g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
100g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
115g ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the caramel
100g unsalted butter
70g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
275g dulce de leche, e.g. Nestlé Caramel
1/3 level tsp fine sea salt (Tip: you want a fine sea salt here rather than the usual coarse one, which may not dissolve effectively.

For the topping
200g dark chocolate (approx 50 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
25g white chocolate chips

Kit
Food processor
23cm non-stick square brownie tin, 4cm deep
Clingfilm
Cocktail stick or skewer

Little extras
Unsalted butter for greasing

Method
Place all the ingredients for the shortbread in a food processor and whizz to a dough.

Butter a 23cm non-stick square brownie tin, 4cm deep. Press the shortbread into the base of the tin – you can lay a sheet of clingfilm over the top if you wish and use your fingers to help smooth it. Prick all over with a fork, loosely cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour.

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Preheat the oven to 140ºC fan/160ºC electric/gas mark 3 and bake the shortbread 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 and then pour over the shortbread base. Leave to cool for at least an hour until set; overnight is even better.

To make the chocolate topping, melt the dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it. Pour over the caramel and smooth out in a thin layer.

Melt the white chocolate in the same way in a clean bowl. To decorate, drop quarter teaspoons of white chocolate on top of the dark and marble it by swirling with a cocktail stick or skewer. 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. If chilling, remove from the fridge 15-30 minutes before serving. This will keep well in a covered container for several days somewhere cool.

 

Extracted from Annie Bell’s Baking Bible by Annie Bell (Kyle Books, approx €27). Photography by Con Poulos.

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