Weekend Bliss (with chocolate of course)

Another week has passed.. a new normal starting to emerge amid Covid-19, masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing. Weekends are our time to recap, recover and dream about a life as we have known it…. But is is also time to rediscover new recipes! As a family, we try and cut the sugar and carbs during the week. So come Friday, everyone is craving something sweet and this weekend we whipped up delicious, delectable, desirable( did I say delicious?) Millionaire’s Shortbread. Known as Millionaire’s Shortbread, presumably because they are so rich, they consist of a crisp shortbread base with an indulgent salted caramel filling that’s topped with a layer of dark chocolate – pure heaven! What more can a girl (or her family) want?

May your life be filled, as mine has been, with love and laughter; and remember, when things are rough all you need is…. CHOCOLATE

Geraldine Solon, Chocolicious

Millionaire’s Shortbread

Ingredients

BASE
cooking oil spray
180 g (6½ oz) unsalted butter
220 g (8 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
50 g (1¾ oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
2 g (1/16 oz/¼ teaspoon) fine sea salt
CARAMEL FILLING
380 g (13½ oz) sweetened condensed milk
50 g (1¾ oz) dark muscovado (dark brown) sugar
100 g (3½ oz) dark corn syrup
100 g (3½ oz) unsalted butter 2 g (1/16 oz/¼ teaspoon) fine
sea salt
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)
TOPPING
40 g (1½ oz) raw walnuts
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (60–70% cocoa)
15 g (½ oz) unsalted butter
2 g (1/16 oz/½ teaspoon) sea salt flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). You will need a 23 cm (9 in) square, 5 cm (2 in) deep cake tin. Cut two pieces of baking paper as wide as the tin and long enough to cover the sides, with some excess paper overhanging. Spray the tin with cooking oil spray and lay one piece of paper across the base of the tin and up the sides, then place the second piece on top (to form a crosshatch). The paper will allow you to lift the slice out of the tin easily.
  2. To make the base, melt the butter and leave to cool a little. Put the flour, icing sugar and salt in a heatproof mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour the butter into the dry ingredients and mix with your hands to form a sticky paste. Press the mix into the prepared tin and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes until the base is a tan biscuity colour. If any bubbles form under the base while baking, just prick them with a skewer to gently deflate them. Place the walnuts (for the topping) on a baking tray and toast them, at the same time as the base, for about 20 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
  4. To make the caramel filling, put all the filling ingredients in a saucepan over a medium–low heat, stirring well occasionally, until the butter has fully melted and emulsified. The consistency should be thick and gloopy and the colour just a shade darker – this will take about 10 minutes. Fish out the vanilla bean if you chose that vanilla option.
  5. Set aside at room temperature. Take the walnuts out of the oven and cool to room temperature. As soon as the base is ready, remove from the oven and immediately scrape the caramel filling over the top.
  6. Reduce the oven to 120°C (250°F). Return the filled base to the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes. If it starts to brown too quickly, reduce the oven slightly and continue to bake. When cooked, the middle will feel set and a little rubbery (be careful when you touch it – it’s caramel hot) and the sides should be starting to blister and turn light brown. Remove and leave to cool completely for 1–2 hours at room temperature
  7. To make the topping, melt the chocolate and butter on defrost setting in the microwave. Stir thoroughly and then pour it over the top of the caramel. Smooth lightly with an offset spatula. Crush the walnuts with your hands over the top and sprinkle over the salt flakes.

Choose your ooze factor and cool the slice until the chocolate is set to your liking – glistening and runny (about 15 minutes) or firm (about 45 minutes). Take hold of the excess paper on the sides, then shimmy and lift the slice out of the tin and place onto a chopping board. Peel the paper away from the sides. Dip a serrated knife in hot water, dry and chop into bars.

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