While there are certain recipes which I love, are always popular and are fun to bake, it’s very rare that I’ll make the same thing twice as there are just so many other recipes waiting to be tried.
Millionaire’s shortbread is a classic example – almost everyone I know loves it, and I like making it as there are several elements involved which makes it a bit more fun than a simple biscuit or cake – but I’ve done it before, more than once.
Still, when I wanted to bake something for the office a couple of weekends ago, millionaire’s shortbread was the one thing on my mind, and so I decided to turn to the universal solution to almost any problem – add alcohol.
There are quite a few variations on ‘billionaire’s shortbread’ if you search for it – salted caramel, white chocolate and peanut butter all feature – but I think I have come up with a real winning combination that seriously takes the traditional treat to a whole new level.
It starts with a shortbread base, but chocolate rather than plain. Then instead of a regular old caramel, I boozed it up with a salted rum caramel. Oh my – it was good! Then it’s finished off with a milk chocolate topping, with just a little added salt to counter the sweetness.
These are 100% better than the original, and went down very well with my taste testers. The flavour of the rum is most definitely there, but it isn’t overpowering, and ditto with the salt.
I loved these so much that I may even have to break my rule and bake them again, exactly the same…
Boozy billionaire’s shortbread (adapted from here)
For the base:
- 130g butter
- 150g flour
- 15g cocoa powder
- 55g caster sugar
For the caramel and topping:
- 400g condensed milk
- 115g butter
- 40g light brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-3 tbsp rum (I used Havana Club Anejo Especial, but any golden or spiced would be good)
- 150g milk chocolate
- Salt to taste
For the base, rub the butter into the flour until it reached a breadcrumb-like consistency, then stir in the cocoa powder and sugar. This could also be done in the food processor if you want to speed things up! Press into the base of a greased and lined 8×8″ square tin and bake at 180 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until just starting to crisp up.
While the base cools, make the caramel. Heat the condensed milk, butter and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to bubble and thicken and turn a lovely golden brown. Once it’s pretty much ready, add the salt and the rum, one 1/2 tbsp at a time until it tastes right to you – I like a fair amount of salt and rum, you might want to go more subtle. Pour the caramel over the base and leave to set.
Finally, melt the chocolate and add a little more salt to taste. Spread this in an even layer over the set caramel, then leave again. Once the chocolate has firmed up, remove from the tin and cut into squares.