Tag Archives: salt

Not just any old millionaire’s shortbread…

This fine specimen of home baked goodness isn’t just your common or garden millionaire’s shortbread…No!…nestled between the layer of gorgeous, dark chocolate and the thick, gooey layer of homemade caramel is a sprinkling of flaked maldon sea salt just waiting to get your taste buds going!

I’m a self confessed salt fiend as documented here, so this recipe for salted caramel millionaire’s shortbread is right up my alley! Salted caramel in both desserts and chocolates seem to be all the rage at the moment and all I can say is, if you haven’t tried it…you’re missing out! The salt acts to balance out the super sweetness of the caramel, blending into the overall taste. However in this case I consider it very lucky to come across one of the little nuggets of saltiness, the way it zings and melts on your tongue really is something special! Don’t just take my word for it though…try it for yourself!

Here’s how to make it…

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a 30 x 22cm (12 x 9in) tin with greaseproof paper to make it easier to get the shortbread out later.

For the shortbread layer you’ll need…

300g plain flour 

325g butter 

80g caster sugar 

3 tsp cornflour 

1/4 tsp salt

The recipe I was following told you to put the shortbread ingredients into a food processor and whizz it up until the mixture comes together in a ball. However, I don’t own a food processor so I just rubbed the butter into dry ingredients by hand…don’t worry if, like me, you’re sans snazzy kitchen equipment…it’ll turn out just as good but will just take a little longer. Whichever method you use, once the ingredients have come together into a ball, take the shortbread and press it into the bottom of your prepared tin, making it as even a layer as possible. Prick it all over with a fork. Bake it for five minutes before turning the oven down to 150 degrees and cooking for a further 30 minutes, or until pale golden. Remove it from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin.

For the caramel layer you’ll need…

115g butter 

400g tin sweetened condensed milk 

4 tbsp golden syrup 

1 tsp Maldon sea salt flakes 

225g good-quality dark chocolate (for the topping)

Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat then stir in the condensed milk and golden syrup. Bring the mixture to a simmer…

Try to keep the temperature even and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring continuously…

You’ll know it’s ready when it’s thick and golden-brown…

Pour your gloopy caramel evenly over the cooled shortbread. Leave it to cool a little and when it’s formed a slight skin sprinkle over the magic sea salt flakes! Now leave it to set for about half an hour…

Finally, break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave it to cool for five minutes before pouring it over the caramel. The recipe gave me a great tip to ‘create a nice smooth surface by tilting the tin so that the chocolate runs into the corners’…perfection…

Leave it to cool in the fridge for an hour or more if you have time. Apparently you can also sprinkle a little more salt on the surface of the chocolate before it’s completely set, I wasn’t sure my chosen guinea pigs were quite as in to their salt as me so I decided not to overdo it!

When the surface is completely set and cold you can lift it out of the tin…

and cut it into squares…

Not only does the addition of the salt add a whole new delicious dimension to this millionaire’s shortbread but the cornflour in the shortbread layer makes it just melt in the mouth…all in all a raging success, even if I do say so myself! 🙂

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WARNING! not for the faint hearted…

I’m a sucker for chocolate, along with the majority of the females of the species but I’m also an absolute salt fiend and have been known to snack on slices of cheese topped with freshly ground sea salt…mmmm! So imagine my delight when, on reading The Sweetest Kitchen, a blog I follow, I learnt that Lindt have introduced a bar of dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt!

Jamieanne, the blog author also shared a recipe that she had found for Salted Chocolate Shortbread. I couldn’t get it out of my head and spent the rest of the afternoon at work daydreaming about salty chocolate creations. I decided to bite the bullet, did a pit stop at Waitrose, who stock the aforementioned magic chocolate and headed home for some baking.

Surprisingly I don’t think I’ve ever made shortbread before. There’s a first time for everything and without further ado here is the recipe I used to make my salted chocolate shortbread…

300g unsalted butter

220g caster sugar

375g plain flour

5tbsp good-quality cocoa powder

1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a 18 x 28cm shallow baking tray.

Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with a handheld whisk until pale. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder and soda and beat slowly until just combined. Spread into the tray and smooth over. I used my hands to push it into the corners but was careful not to compact it or overwork it too much. I then put my shortbread straight in the oven, only realising once I’d done so that I was meant to have pricked it all over with a fork and chilled it for 15 minutes beforehand…oops!

It needs baking for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Then should be left to cool completely.

I can report that my shortbread was pretty darn perfect and didn’t seem to suffer from my forgetfulness. Maybe next time I’ll make sure I do the pricking and chilling and try to spot the difference.

While your shortbread is cooling you can crack on with the salty ganache topping…

2 x 100g bars of Lindt touch of salt, finely chopped

2/3 cup of heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small cubes

sea salt flakes

Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream until it’s just about to simmer (do not boil), then pour it over the chocolate and leave for about a minute. Stir it until smooth and all of the chocolate has melted. Add the butter and stir until combined. 

Put the bowl in the fridge for approx 20-30 minutes to set. Every 5-10 minutes get it out and give it a good stir/whisk. Once the ganache is of spreadable consistency smooth it over the cooled shortbread with a spatula and then let it set for 30 minutes until it’s firm to the touch. Cut the shortbread into squares, wiping the knife clean after every cut to keep the ganache crumb free and vice versa. Sprinkle a few sea salt flakes onto each square and hey presto you have the most amazing chocolatey, salty delicacies…

Now, brace yourselves and behold, what I believe are the best baking porn photo’s I’ve taken to date…

I was really happy with how these turned out…they were delicious and were a huge hit with my colleagues! The flavours really balanced themselves out, the overriding taste was definitely the chocolate but the salt worked to cut through the sweetness and helped ensure that they weren’t too sickly and the sudden salty hit that you get from the flakes of sea salt was a pure delight.

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it…and I highly recommend that you do!


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