I am not a very creative or inspired person.
A while ago, before we moved in together, Sam came round and made millionaire shortbread to take into work/class on his birthday (which OUTRAGED my housemate: ‘What is this FUCKERY? Why should one have to provide one’s own cakes on one’s BIRTHDAY?’). Anyway, he made too much caramel, and left it in my fridge. I peered at it this morning and said sagely ‘ah! I shall seek out a suitable recipe to use THAT up’, then went back to bed. But I didn’t. Which is why, when my case finished early, I found myself in Bedford M&S buying the other requisite ingredients for, well, millionaire’s shortbread.
I lifted this out of Asda’s April 2013 magazine that came free with the home delivery. So hat tip Asda.
It goes like this:
Makes: MASSES. I had to use a loaf tin to use up the left over mix. I think I got 12 elegant triangles and 8 squat squares out of the mix.
Takes: Probably 3 hours start to finish, but 90% of that is cooking or cooling time
Bakes: 35 minutes
125g caster sugar
350 g plain flour (the recipe says to sift it, but really? REALLY? You can if you want to, you SQUARE)
225g salted butter (it’s supposed to be chilled, but mine wasn’t)
150g unsalted butter (I use salted butter for everything because I hate the smell of unsalted butter, and because I think salt in caramel etc is FIT but do as you will)
150g soft brown sugar
397g can condensed milk
Two large bars of proper chocolate — cadburys or galaxy*.
1. Preheat oven to 160C/140C fan. Grease tins. Yes, I know, SNORE, but you HAVE TO DO IT, ok? I didn’t bother lining them and they slipped out like oiled bunnies out of a warren.
2. Rub together caster sugar, flour and salted butter until it looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Press down into tin(s) with finger tips, right into the corners, then press again/smooth with the back of a metal spoon.
4. Bake for 35 minutes until golden. Remove, and allow to cool completely.
5. Melt soft brown sugar and second lot of butter together on a low heat, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn/stick. When melted and dissolved, add the condensed milk. Turn the heat up until the mixture is simmering gently, and ‘stir constantly’ for 10 mins. I peeled and grated two beetroots for a different recipe and occasionally gave my spatula a red-handed shove. It was fine.
6. Then pour on top of the shortbread mixture. Tip tin to create even layer right up to the edges. Leave to cool. Do NOT prod. Do NOT try and go to the next stage until it’s cooled properly. Do NOT allow your housemates to prod it.
7. Melt chocolate* in whichever way you deem fit. I did it in a bain marie, because I still don’t really understand my microwave, but whatever works for you. Pour on top of caramel. Refrigerate.
8. TA DAH!
The Icing on the Cake
NOTHING. These simply cannot be improved upon. Eat them guiltily for breakfast with a large cup of coffee, when your housemates have already gone to work. Then give the cat chocolate caramel kisses.
*When I’m covering something with a top layer of chocolate, like in this recipe, or when I make honeycomb or fudge, I use chocolate that I’d want to eat whilst watching Titanic. This is supposed to be a filthy treat, not a refined pudding, so I use cadbury or galaxy. None of that dark or posh crap.