Millionaires’ shortbread. Those two words have been repeating and repeating in my mind over the last few days. I blame these two here and here for doubly tempting me with chocolate treats that looked irresistible, if only I had them in front of me. Try as I might (and I did try), I could not stop thinking of them. The mantra would not leave me and so I indulged my hankering for things chocolate and made some of my own. I feel good.
You may know these as chocolate caramel slices or something like that. I’ve always known them in Scotland as Millionaires’ Shortbread and surely that perfectly describes shortbread, dressed up with layers of caramel and chocolate riches?
I make no excuses for my less than perfect serves. I fail regularly on the "precision cutting, no smudges, marks or blemishes" type of perfection. It is home baking after all.
makes about 24 squares
175g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
250g plain flour
a pinch of salt
100g soft brown sugar (or muscovado sugar)
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 x 375g cans sweetened condensed milk
200g good dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa) (or use milk chocolate if you prefer)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Lightly grease and line the bottom of a Swiss roll tin approximately 33x23cm (13x9 inches).
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (scraping down the mixture two or three times during the mixing).
Sift the flour and salt into the mixture and bring together until a dough is formed. Press the dough into the tin until evenly spread. Prick the dough lightly with a fork.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shortbread is firm to the touch and lightly browned (as you can see from the photo some of mine were more lightly browned than others!).
Leave to cool in the tin.
Put the butter, sugar, golden syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. When it reaches boiling, reduce heat and simmer gently, still stirring continuously, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly. Pour over the cooled shortbread layer and leave to set.
Note: It is important to stir continuously and not let the caramel “catch” or burn in the saucepan. If lumps appear, remove pan from heat for a few seconds then return to simmer gently. Remove any lumps by pouring the caramel onto the shortbread layer through a sieve. As long as the caramel does not taste burnt (let it cool slightly before you try it!), it will be fine.
Break the chocolate into squares or pieces. Melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the water touch the bowl) until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
Pour the melted chocolate over the cold caramel layer and leave to set.
When the chocolate is just set, cut into squares or bars.
Note: If you like thicker layers, just add more caramel and/or chocolate the next time.