15. Millionaire’s Shortbread – Scotland

Shortbread is traditionally Scottish and delicious so what better way to bring it to life than with a generous coating of caramel and chocolate?

Millionaire Shortbread

I’ve been to Scotland many, many times and love it. Who else has a shop dedicated to Chocolate Soup?

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

I’ve made biscuits before but not like this and never Shortbread. After my mam kindly donated a tin of what we thought was caramel I craved Millionaire Shortbread for a week so I dug out a Shortbread recipe and set to work.

The Beginning

It seems strange that Shortbread only consists of sugar, butter and flour. I had to keep checking the recipe to make sure I hadn’t missed something. Where’s the eggs?! Surely this won’t work?

I treat myself once more to another new piece of baking equipment. This time to a very big and deep tray. Perfect for a traybake like this. The can of caramel had a recipe for Millionaire Shortbread printed on it which said to break up Shortbread then squash it into the tin. I was about to bake loads of biscuits then crush them up but realised this was ridiculous. I could simply bake a layer of Shortbread and layer the caramel and chocolate on to it, making one big tray instead. Genius.

The new rolling plan

I quickly whipped up a batch of Shortbread and attempted to roll it out directly onto a sheet of greaseproof paper in an attempt to minimise mess and washing up! Another innovation, although I had to weigh the paper down with various kitchen implements.

Upon rolling the dough it became apparent that we were going to be dining on pauper Shortbread if I had to eek out the dough to fill the entire tray. It would have been a sorry sight to serve up wafer thin Shortbread.

Squished into all the corners

I ended up making another batch and combined the two doughs. A quick roll to flatten it out. Then all I had to do was lift the entire baking sheet into the tray and press the dough into the corners. Minimal effort required!

A quick bake in the oven for the Shortbread and whilst it was cooling in the oven I opened the can of caramel, only to discover that the price label had cleverly concealed its true contents. It was in fact a can of condensed milk! I thought my plan was scuppered but I rooted around in the fridge for some spare butter and sugar. I had enough to turn this can into a wonderful pan of caramel!

Let's make caramel

I hadn’t attempted caramel before, although I have made Dolche De Leche by simmering a closed can of condensed milk in a pan for a couple of hours. I assumed caramel couldn’t be that different and threw myself into the caramel creation with some gusto. Yet with some caution, following my previous burnt pan messes which have killed off a few of my pans. I didn’t want to have to buy any more pans!

add the butter

I was surprised by how relatively easy this was. I didn’t burn then pan or set fire to anything. Success!

And we have... caramel! (No burnt pans!)

Once the next layer of caramel was added to the shortbread it needed to set in the fridge for a while. I left it to cool and threw 3 bars of plain chocolate into a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water to melt.

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

This meant just before bed all I had to do was spread the thick chocolate onto the caramel, and leave it to set in the fridge once more.

I discovered a little white chocolate lurking in the fridge too and thought it would be nice to make a swirly pattern on the top with it. So I threw it into a sandwich bag and left it in the hot water to melt.

Swirly

A quick snip with the scissors and I have a handy disposable piping bag (thanks for the tip mam!) and less washing up for me. I swirled it up with a knife and it looked rather pretty, even if I do say so myself!

Look at that thick chocolate!!

The hardest bit of this bake was trying to cut it up into equal pieces without the chocolate cracking in all the wrong places. My hands were a bit sore pressing the knife into the chocolate! Perhaps a sharper knife would help?

How do I cut this??

It was very well received at home and at work. It is genuinely the bake that just keeps going. I must have cut it up into about 35 pieces!  I’ve enjoyed a bit everyday with a massive cup of tea. I predict I will be making this again in the future…

Delicious!

Things that I used to make Millionaire’s Shortbread

Shortbread Base

I had to make twice as much shortbread to fill my tin so I doubled all of the ingredients listed below…

  • 125g/4oz butter (I used 250g butter)
  • 55g/2oz caster sugar (I used 110g sugar)
  • 180g/6oz plain flour (I used 360g plain flour)

Caramel Filling

 

  • 175 g butter
  • 175 g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 x 397 g can condensed milk

Chocolate Topping

  • 1 bar (200 g) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 bar (200g) of white chocolate

 

 

9. Black Olive and Cheese Rolls – Italy – Mary Berry

I ordered a proper  Mary Berry – At Home cookbook. It is amazing. It has everything that you could ever need like which things you can freeze and how to reheat things. Clever Mary. I really want to bake everything in it and also recreate in my kitchen the fabulous 70’s photos of Mary smiling while popping a tray of something lovely in the oven. I’ve post-it noted all of my things to bake and the first out of the hat was…

Italian Black Olive and Parmesan Rolls

Italian Black Olive and Cheese Rolls. I wanted to bake something special (and savoury) to complement the Chocolate Roulade for my Book Group friends, I was definitely channelling Mary that night! I even purchased proper bread flour and parmesan for the occasion, rather than making do with plain flour and Red Leceister Cheese, which wouldn’t be very Italian.

I have been to Italy briefly and it was great. A long weekend in Milan, venturing up to the top of the Duomo, gorging myself on coconut gelato and wandering round Gucci and Prada gazing longingly at everything that I could never afford in a million years.

Up on the roof - Duomo - Milan

I followed this recipe almost exactly, but added double the amount of yeast…(that just means it will be extra fluffy, right?) and left it to prove as prescribed. I pre chopped all the olives and grated the cheese. I even bought myself an early Christmas present, a big kneading board, with measurements on for cutting dough, this will force me to become more exact in my measurements, eventually.

The new kneading board. Look at those concentric circles!

I thoroughly enjoyed throwing the dough about and kneading the ingredients in. I have almost perfected a one handed kneading/throwing teachnique which means I can multi task to the extreme. I fear that my neighbours may complain about the noise from my over zealous kneading however.

Ready for the second knead

The rolls, once sprinkled with parmesan and shaped, had to prove once more. I fashioned a rudimentary tent from cling film (as always) and a grater, as nothing else was big enough to hold the tray full of ever expanding dough.

Rudimentary Cling Film Tent

Pre Oven and Pre Proved

A very quick 30  minutes in the oven and the kitchen smelt gorgeous! So much so, that at 10pm I was tucking into a fresh baked, still warm, golden rolls. My mouth is watering just writing about these buns. I LOVE them. Mary has done me proud yet again.

The Final Bun

I even took them for my lunch all week as they are like a pre prepared sandwich. I definitely recommend warming them up again in the microwave so the cheese melts slightly inside. Beautiful!

Crammed with Olives - my lunch