Considering this is my first recipe for December, it’s rather strange that it’s not a Christmas recipe. Especially considering how festive I’m feeling this year. We went to our first Christmas market last night. Hong Kong hasn’t quite got the hang of pulling off the perfect Christmas market, but bless them, they try. There wasn’t a mince pie in sight, but we had our first mulled wine of the season and I still came away feeling very Christmassy.
We’ve set up what is possibly the world’s tiniest Christmas tree in the corner of the sitting room. It’s barely a foot tall, and I’ve managed to squeeze on about 10 tiny decorations which have left it precariously balanced with barely a branch undecorated. I’m blasting out the Christmas tunes, lighting the cinnamon candles, and turning on the fairy lights at every possible opportunity.
You would think then, I’d have gone all out with a Christmas bake to kick off the month, but I’m even more excited to bring you this recipe. Millionarie’s Shortbread may not be traditionally festive, however if you were looking for a something yummy to give as an edible gift, you can’t go far wrong with a few delicious carmelly, chocolatley squares.
Millionaire’s shortbread is up there as one of my all time favourite treats. A good square has to have a few specific qualities; buttery shortbread with a texture somewhere between crumbly and melt in the mouth. A rich indulgent caramel layer. Not too sticky, not to runny, smooth, creamy. It should be sweet, but not sickly. The chocolate layer needs to be thick, and snap as you bite through it.
This version has all of these qualities, plus I’ve gone for extra indulgence with a layer of Malteasers on top, and a drizzle of white chocolate to decorate. Malteasers go exceptionally well with a Millionaires shortbread, complimenting the taste and texture of the shortbread. This may just be the best Millionaire’s shortbread I’ve ever baked!
What December bakes have you got planned this year? Our oven is currently broken and completely out of action – devastating when all I want to do is bake mince pies and gingerbread – but I’ll be back soon with some no bake Christmas recipes!
- I used dark chocolate for the topping because I find milk can make it all too sweet for my tastes. However you can use whatever chocolate you prefer.
- Watch your shortbread carefully in the oven. Its easy to over bake leaving you with a dry biscuity base. Take it out as soon as the top is beginning to colour.
- Use a good quality butter to make your shortbread, it will really help to give the best flavour.
- ---- for the shortbread
- 250g plain flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 175g butter, chilled
- ---- for the caramel
- 100g butter
- 100g light muscavado sugar
- 1 x 397g tin condensed milk
- ---- for the toppings
- 300g dark chocolate
- 150g malteasers
- 100g white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ Gas mark 4. Grease and line a 13x9 (33cm x 23cm) tin. You could use a swiss roll tin, but I prefer to use a disposable foil tray as it makes it very easy to get the shortbread out.
- Mix together the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until you have a breadcrumb like texture. Knead it together to form a dough, then press it into the tin. Prick it all over with a fork. Bake for around 20 minutes, until just beginning to lightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin.
- Next, make the caramel. Put the butter, muscavado sugar and condensed milk into a heavy bottomed pan. Heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer, still stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the mixture has slightly thickened. Pour over the shortbread and leave to cool.
- To finish, melt your dark chocolate and pour over the caramel. Spread it out into an even layer.
- Crush half the malteasers, then sprinkle the crushed and whole malteasers over the chocolate. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle on top. All the chocolate to set completely before cutting to squares.