Have you ever been in limbo and genuinely don't know what to do? My life for some time now has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride. The majority of my year has been spent applying for jobs, and to be honest, it’s soul crushing. Just waiting for a response for an approval or an interview is like waiting for summer to come after a long winter. Although I have come to respect the advice that the majority of my friends and family have given me: in due time something will come. Patience is key; it’s just a matter of time and hard work, and soon enough a job will come. So in my spare time where I am not earning the means and saving up to be a millionaire, I might as well feel rich one bite at a time.
In today’s baking adventure I am planning on making millionaire’s shortbread. I have always been a fan of millionaire’s shortbread. Millionaire’s shortbread are slices consisting of three beautiful layers of biscuit, caramel and chocolate. Normally I have only had the luxury of having millionaire’s shortbread at cafes, or my grandmother’s secret stash of mini shortbread from Sainsburys. However that has now changed. When I ventured to Textbook Centre (which is a material/bookshop in Nairobi) with my mother, as she was browsing through the art materials, I was browsing through cookbooks and I found one. Step by Step Desserts by Caroline Bretherton and Katherine Raines, was definitely a best buy. It gives 400 classic recipes on desserts from cobblers, cakes to trifles and pavlovas, I will definitely be creating more recipes from this book in the near future.
With this recipe I had made it twice in order to get it right. The tricky thing with this recipe is making the caramel. If you don’t cook the caramel long enough your millionaire shortbread will get messy and gooey. Before telling all you lovely people about the process, I must mention that I tweaked this recipe with some added ingredients. The initial recipe says to use milk and dark chocolate on the topping (to form a zig-zag pattern), however I thought with the caramel, milk chocolate might make the shortbread too sweet so instead of having the two variations of chocolate I decided to use one: dark chocolate
The music choice today solely went to one diva, the late Whitney Houston. Went for a whole 1hr 25mins listening to a range of her classic hits. The song that I think works well with this recipe is “It’s not right, but its okay”. Even though this song is about being strong willed after a break up, the title resonates me with me in a different way. It’s not right that I am making this millionaire’s shortbread (because it’s fatting and I’m trying to loose weight) but its okay cause they are just too delicious not to make. If your keen to listen to more of the diva's tune check this playlist I made of my fav Whitney songs HERE .
1st Layer: Shortbread :
175g (6oz) unsalted butter (leave out of the fridge to soften) plus extra for greasing
200g (7oz) all purpose flour
100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar
2nd Layer : Caramel:
50 g (1 ¾ oz) unsalted butter
50 g (1 ¾ oz) light brown sugar
400g can condensed milk
3rd Layer: Chocolate :
200g (7oz) good- quality dark chocolate
25g (scant 1oz) unsalted butter
Equipment: 20cm (8in) square inch:
Method in Step by Step Desserts :
Preheat the oven to 160ºC (325ºF/ Gas 3) Grease and line the tin with baking parchment. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl. Rub in the butter until mixture resembles somewhat of breadcrumb substance. Spread it evenly in the tin and bake for 35- 40 mins. Remove and leave to cool in the tin. [Tip] to make the shortbread cool faster put it in the fridge, whilst your making the caramel.
For the 2nd layer which is the caramel and the filling, melt the butter and sugar in heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the condensed milk and bring to the boil, stirring. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Until it is thick and lightly coloured. Pour it over the base and leave to cool. You know when the caramel is done when you remove it from the heat and as it cools it starts to harden. [Tip] cool it in the fridge to harden more.
The 3rd and last layer the chocolate, melt the dark chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure it does not touch the water. Stir until smooth.
Pour the dark chocolate mixture over the caramel and smooth over the top. Leave it to cool in the fridge until it hardens.
As a nice decorating touch sprinkle some icing sugar, in order to make the millionaires short bread even richer and pretty!
Good food = Good mood