During this time of fervent revision when the library is open 24 hours and many students are in ‘constant study’ mode, I’ve found myself baking – somehow not a big surprise. I think traybakes are really homely and it doesn’t usually take much effort to create something delicious looking and delicious tasting (the proof for me being that I had all the ingredients without knowing I was gonna make it!). This is my take on Millionaires’ Shortbread, those lovely layers of shortbread, caramel and chocolate, transformed for all the chocolate lovers out there! I wouldn’t call myself a chocolate addict, but a part-time fanatic, yes, maybe.
Makes 12 bars
for the shortbread base
- 210g plain flour
- 70g caster sugar
- 140g unsalted butter, cubed
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract with seeds
for the chocolate ganache filling
- 200g milk chocolate
- 120ml double cream
for the chocolate topping
- 200g white chocolate
Make the ganache filling: melt the milk chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, either stirring over a pan of simmering water or in a microwave on full power stirring every 30 seconds. Heat the double cream in small pan over a medium heat until it comes to the boil, then remove from the heat. Pour the cream over the melted chocolate and stir with a balloon whisk until smooth. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for about an hour until it becomes cold and thick.
In the meantime, make the shortbread base: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4 and line the base of a 7×11” (18x28cm) tin, with non-stick baking paper (you can also use an 8″/20cm square tin). In a large bowl, combine the flour with the sugar then rub in the butter and vanilla extract so it resembles breadcrumbs. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin spread evenly then press down firmly; gently prick all over with a fork. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until it is golden all over and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the base is cool assemble the shortbread: melt the white chocolate in the same way as the milk chocolate then leave to one side to cool slightly whilst preparing the topping. Remove the chilled ganache from the fridge and beat using an electric whisk until it is light and fluffy. Transfer the cooled shortbread base to a baking tray or chopping board and spread evenly with the whipped ganache using a palette knife. Spread the melted white chocolate evenly over the ganache then transfer to the fridge for the chocolate to set. Remove from the fridge as soon as the
chocolate is set (if it’s too cold the chocolate will be brittle and crack when the shortbread is cut up – if this happens, leave at room temperature for a little white until the chocolate softens) and cut into 12 bars, return to the fridge for the chocolate to set completely then eat as you wish!