Baking, for me, is a very homely thing. We’ve always been bakers in my family, and whether it was making flapjack with my Mum or making coffee cake with my Grandma, a lot of my childhood memories start with me in the kitchen covered in flour, creaming together butter and sugar and eating half of it before it made its way into the recipe.
Millionaire’s Shortbread is a particularly British recipe in my mind, although it’s known by a variety of names all over the world, such as Caramel Shortbread, Slice of Caramel and even Wellington Square. This will always be a British cake tin staple for me, though.
For such a decadent and indulgent treat, this is actually pretty easy to make; the most difficult part is the caramel, and that just takes a bit of time. I find that making vegan caramel takes longer than making its buttery counterpart, but once you know what you’re doing, it’s not a problem at all!
Don’t eat too much of this, or you may actually die. Share and share alike; that’s what I always say!
Enjoy this with a proper cup of tea for a real home-country treat!
(Makes 10-16 shortbreads)
For the shortbread:
1 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar (granulated or icing sugar)
2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
For the caramel:
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (like Earth Balance)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups coconut milk
For the topping:
200g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celcius
Grease an 8×8 baking tray
Cream the butter, salt and the sugar together until they’re thick and creamy
Stir in the flour a cup at a time to make a moist dough
(If your dough is too dry, add a tiny splash of almond milk to bring it to the right consistency)
Flatten the dough into the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes
Bring out of the oven and allow to cool
Heat the coconut milk, margarine and sugar in a pan, and stir until the margarine is melted
Bring to the boil, then reduce the mixture to a high simmer and keep stirring. Eventually the mixture should start to thicken and change to a slightly browny colour; once you can part the caramel with a wooden spoon or roll it into a ball with your fingers, its ready
Pour the caramel on to the cooled shortbread, making sure to spread it fully and evenly over the shortbread
Place into the freezer to firm up the caramel
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie / in a ceramic bowl over simmering water slowly, stirring until its all melted
Pour over the caramel layer and return to the freezer to firm up
Once the chocolate layer is firm, remove the shortbread from the freezer and cut into squares
Keep in the fridge so it is perfect!
*A little trick here: I like to pop the cooled shortbread out of the tin, then to line the tin with wax / baking paper and return the shortbread into it again. This means that the caramel and chocolate layers will form into the correct shape, but you will be able to get the whole lot out easier at the end!
Don’t be afraid to but this into 20 pieces if you like; it’s a very intense treat and one that should be enjoyed in small bits!
What’s your favourite British treat? Let me know in the comments!