Sunday, 22 May 2011

Millionaire's shortbread. Better than birthday cake.

Yesterday was our friend Mike's 40th birthday, and his missus organised a surprise party for him at our local pub, complete with live band, helium balloons and a barbecue with the best fried onions EVER. I knew she'd ordered him a birthday cake, but I couldn't let a 40th birthday go by without offering the birthday boy some sort of baked product. Obviously. So knowing that Mike is a fan of millionaire's shortbread, I brought home a huge baking tin from work and made him a massive batch of it, all for himself :)

The recipe I use for this yummy treat comes from the Hairy Bikers Mums Know Best cookbook (the first one), which my lovely husband managed to get Dave and Si to sign for me when they visited his office. It's a great book, full of the sort of food your mum/granny used to make, real good family grub. It's worth buying just for this recipe and one for spaghetti carbonara, but really every recipe in it is a winner.

I doubled the quantities and filled my massive tin, but normally I make it in a Lakeland brownie pan which measures 34x20cm and it's just about perfect. I use different methods to make the shortbread base and caramel topping than the recipe states - my way is quicker and easier!


Shortbread base:

125g butter

50g caster sugar

175g plain flour

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Line your tin with baking parchment.
Put all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and turn it on until you get a sandy mixture. Pour this into the tin and press it down really well, making sure you get into the corners. (If you have no food processor, you can make sure your butter is softened and just mix it all together by hand). Bake for 20 minutes. It shouldn't really take on much colour, and should still be quite soft on top (it will harden as it cools). Leave to cool completely.

Caramel topping:

397g condensed milk

50g butter, cut into small pieces
50g soft brown sugar

Put all the ingredients into a large microwaveable bowl, and microwave on full power for around 7 or 8 minutes. Take it out every couple of minutes and give it a whisk. It will boil quite furiously and will rise up in the bowl (this is why you want a big bowl - but it's perfectly normal). When the caramel is ready, it will be thickened and fudgy-looking. DO NOT be tempted to dip a finger in to taste it, you will get a nasty burn! Pour this over the shortbread base, and let it set in the fridge.

When it's set firmly, melt 150g dark chocolate and pour all over the top. Leave to set again before cutting into squares. I like to melt a little white chocolate, drizzle it in lines
over the dark chocolate and pull a skewer through it to make a feathery pattern.

Sorry for the lack of better photos, I had to snap these very quickly as I was already late for the party! I can tell you that the recipient was very happy to receive a huge tin full of this stuff :)


  1. Nice birthday gift! It looks great.

  2. I have a tin of condensed milk in the cupboard waiting for such a recipe... Can't wait to get going now! X

  3. I love millionaire's shortbread - it's the closest I'll ever get to being a millionaire. This looks really good.

  4. Looks absolutely delicious, serious millionaire's shortbread cravings going on now.

  5. Yum! There's present fantastically and sound super tasty. Thanks for sharing :) - Cathy Pieroz at Ray White Alexandra Hills


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