Now. why on earth, when I am trying to lose weight, did I make something as dangerous as Millionaire's Shortbread? Well, the answer is the Rainbows Cake Sale in aid of Comic Relief. Pink's Rainbows troop had already contributed 2 fantastic bunting flags to Helen Skelton's challenge to break the record for the longest string of bunting, and they had to raise £50. Cakes it was, then -and a family quiz and a raffle. I'd already siphoned off half the cakes we made for the school Comic Relief Cake Sale, so had 12 cupcakes to take along, but I was flicking through How to Be a Domestic Goddess - idly, as one does when one is restricting oneself, and came across the Millionaire's Shortbread recipe in the 'Baking for the School Fete' section.
You know, I'm not sure I have ever made Millionaire's Shortbread before - that glorious combination of shortbread, caramel and chocolate. I love it, but I never buy it when we're out because it is always disappointing. It's also far too dangerous to make just because. Like the Peanut Butter Squares (also in Domestic Goddess). Having some of it lying around in a tin would frankly, be a recipe for thigh expansion on a colossal scale, and I am hoping to achieve the opposite. However, with the prospect of cake sale to dispose of the offending end product, and with the Husband away for the weekend leaving me at a loose end on Friday night, I decided to lose my Millionaire's Shortbread cherry. I know how to live.
My goodness but it's divine stuff. Buttery shortbread, golden caramel and a layer of chocolate on the top. Some might say it's too much, but to them I say, you only live once, and if you have a cake sale coming up to prevent you eating all of it, what's the harm. In my half starved state, I managed to only eat one small (well, small-ish) bit - just for quality control purposes you understand - on Friday night when it was all done, before restrainedly boxing it up ready for fundraising purposes.
You will need
225g plain flour
75g caster sugar
375g unsalted butter
397g can of condensed milk
2 tablespoons of golden syrup
200g plain chocolate
150g milk chocolate
Greased & lined tin 23cm square or similar (mine is rectangular, about 21 cm by 24cm)
Preheat your oven to 170C. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl, then add in 175g of the butter, cut into cubes, and cut into the flour, then rub in with your fingers till it clumps together. Squodge this into the bottom of the tin, flatten it out with your hands, prick all over with a fork and then bake for 5 minutes before turning the heat down to 150 and baking for another 30-40 minutes till golden brown. Leave to cool.
To make the caramel, melt the remaining butter in a heavy based saucepan, then add in the condensed milk and sugar and whisk until the butter is all mixed into the condensed milk and syrup. Bring the whole lot gently up to the boil whisking all the time, and simmer for about 5 minutes whisking all the time to prevent burning, until the mixture is thickened and golden looking. Resist the temptation to stick your finger in for a lick, and pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread and leave to set on a flat surface (to avoid uneven spreading of the caramel!)
Once set, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a simmering pan of water - make sure not to let the bowl touch the water. Pour evenly over the caramel and leave to set. Once set, cut into squares, put into a cake tin and seal with a combination lock. Better still, deliver immediately to a cake sale.