Skip to main content

Milionaire's shortbread

The things we do when we are lonely... My loved one is away for work, my toddler threw another tantrum. It's raining... On the upside I haven't gained weight over the past four weeks (whereas I put on 4 kilos in 6 weeks between July and early August -if you're are here for the first time and wondering, I'm pregnant, that's all). Well, if they checked my weight right now it might have suddenly and very dramatically increased after sampling one time too many these outrageously delicious biscuits, but let's not think of such things, lest I reach one more time for them.

I have long lusted after this recipe, and ignored my lust because I thought it contained a hideous amount of butter and sugar. Plus I wanted to have an opportunity to bake for a larger number of people. As it turned out, I baked this on a lonely afternoon with a view to stash most of the results in the freezer. Mid-week too.

Before I started, I did some research and could find not one single lighter recipe for millionaire's shortbread, sometimes also called caramel slice. It's funny that people will go to trouble to lighten up, say, brownies, but no one seems to bother when it comes to such a decadent little treat as mill's SB. Nigella's recipe calls for 375g butter, yes THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FIVE GRAMS of 82% FAT BUTTER. That's 3/4 of a pound. Ha ha! The thought makes me reel! Even Bill (Granger) has quite a lot of butter in his version (in Holiday).

So, dear reader, I have volunteered to end this attack on our already cellulite-laden thighs by taking the matter into my own hands and trying to cut out a lot of all that saturated, albeit tasty, fat. You'll notice there's a no added fat to the chocolate layer, a huge reduction in the caramel part, and quite a cut to the shortbread bottom. While the latter is not as rich as a normal shortbread, it was difficult to cut the butter further down as otherwise it would have been hard as a rock, and perhaps not so great with the soft caramel on top. Still, I'll honestly say that on the first day, I found it a bit too crackly, but after a night in the fridge, it had time to mellow with all the rich toppings so became crumblier and overall tastier. I noticed I like the chocolate better when it's still a bit cold and crunchy.

So, here we are, with a millionaire's shortbread that satisfies a craving for a luscious little treat, with a nice biscuit bottom, a rich and softish caramel layer, and a cracking good chocolate crust, yet it won't leave you feeling nauseated by all the butter it normally contains.

For the shortbread :
190g flour
30g cornflour
a good pinch of salt
50g brown sugar
90g butter

Preheat the oven on 180°C. Place everything in a processor and process until fine crumbs. Finish it off with your hands, adding cold water, a little at a time to help bind it. Push it down into a square tin (mine is about 22 cm square, that's about 8,5 inch or so). Prick it all over with a fork and bake for about 20 mins. Only the edge should start getting golden. Cool completely on a rack before topping.

Caramel :
397g tin of sweetened condensed milk
40g brown sugar
50g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
a little sea salt

Put everything but the salt into a saucepan and heat moderately , stirring all the while. When it starts boiling, turn the heat down a little and keep stirring until it thickens and turns a deeper hue. Let it cool a little off the heat. Add a little crushed salt and mix. Spread over the cold shortbread.

Chocolate :
100g milk chocolate
100g bittersweet chocolate

Melt the chocolate on a low heat in the microwave. Mix well. Spread evenly over the caramel. Cool in the fridge then cut into squares as big or small as you please. Keep refrigerated or freeze.

Variation : of course, you can add more fleur de sel, both to the caramel and the chocolate if that's how you rock. (And if you want the Pierre Hermé touch). I personally left it out of the chocolate, but added 2 teaspoons of smooth peanut butter to 1/4 of it for the last corner of my slices. It ads another dimension, reminiscent of peanut butter cups.
You might also want to use only dark choc, or only milk choc, or to swirl some white choc for a marbled effect.


Anna said…
Dear Julie,
I do hope you're not feeling lonely any more xx
You've managed to improve the recipe dramatically it seems - well done.
I would like to say I'd try this recipe, but I know for a fact I wouldn't be able to trust myself beside a tray of this, maybe another time when I have visitors or something...
I'm glad to hear you're doing well and the pregnancy is progressing happily.
Kisses to M.
julie said…
Thank you, Anna :-)
I'm much better. You're right, they're moreish, but now most are safely tucked away in the freezer!!
Kelly-Jane said…
I love caramel shortbread, but I make it only once a year for obvious reasons!

Yours looks fab :)

Popular posts from this blog

Mijoteuse...gadget ou vraiment utile? Le point

La mijoteuse électrique, ou slow-cooker, ou encore crockpot (une marque), un objet encore assez rare dans nos contrées, a fait son apparition chez moi il y a peu. Depuis, je suis convertie. Mes amies anglo-saxonnes qui en possèdent s'en servent beaucoup, surtout l'hiver, il faut dire, et je me suis laissée tenter pour plusieurs raisons.

1) La mijoteuse permet d'utiliser quelques minutes de temps libre pour préparer son repas à l'avance, par ex. du matin pour le soir, ou du midi pour le soir, voire la veille ou juste quelques heures avant. Si elle est programmable, c'est encore mieux. Super avantage quand on travaille, et/ou qu'on a peu de temps le soir (bains à donner, bébé à coucher, etc.)

2) La cuisson, très douce, permet d'exalter les saveurs. Un bourguignon devient ainsi très aromatique, la viande super tendre, après avoir cuit sur une journée entière (un peu comme après réchauffage le lendemain).

3) On peut faire cuire avec peu de et réaliser tout…

La Réunion en recettes : cari de lotte et son riz au lait de coco

Enfin, je réalise d'autres recettes réunionnaises. La cuisine de la Réunion, au carrefour des continents, à l'image de sa population, associe des saveurs européennes, asiatiques, indiennes et africaines.
Je vous propose le cari de lotte, tout simplement parce que je cherchais du poisson ce samedi-là, et que les queues de lotte m'ont tapé dans l'oeil. Pauvres lottes décapitées sur l'étal du rayon poissonnerie, eh oui, la lotte est moche, tellement moche qu'on l'appelle poisson-diable en allemand et en anglais (mais aussi poisson-moine/monkfish), aussi, on la propose souvent débarassée de son faciès.

Oui, mais une fois rentrés à la maison, que faire de ces deux beaux filets? Ni une, ni deux, j'ouvre mes tomes de Nigella et Jamie et compulse les index, mais les recettes ne m'emballant pas trop, je pense soudain à en faire un cari et j'ouvre alors Cuisine des Iles de l'Océan Indien (Edisud), ramené lors de mon dernier voyage à la Réunion il y a pr…

Chocolate gelato, glace au chocolat sans oeufs et sa variation vanille

Another delicious recipe filched from bakingsheet, a chocolate gelato, ie an ice-cream made with a base of milk, cocoa powder and cornstarch, so very light and egg-free, plus easy to make. Click here for the original recipe.

Piquée chez Bakingsheet, comme d'autres recettes extra, cette glace au chocolat type gelato est très maigre car elle ne contient pas d'oeufs, ni de crème. Si on traduit gelato par glace italienne, on a tout faux bien sûr car cette glace se tient aussi bien que les autres.

J'étais assez étonnée d'apprendre qu'on pouvait faire une base de crème glacée simplement avec du lait et de la maïzena*, mais ma curiosité est récompensée puisqu'il s'agit de l'une des meilleures glaces au chocolat que j'ai mangées (et donc faites). Tout aussi bonne, voire meilleure, peut-être, que le sorbet au chocolat noir de Pierre Hermé?

3 tasses de lait - 75cl
2/3 tasse de sucre en poudre ou 140g environ
3/4 tasse de cacao non sucré-90g
1,5 cs de maïzena

Porter …