My boyfriend keeps banging on about how amazing his shortbread is, so jealousy pushed me to step the recipe up and make millionaires shortbread – shortbread topped with caramel topped with chocolate. Gorgeous. They only involve about 15 minutes work but you need to allow a few hours for baking and cooling/setting.
Florentines look a bit posh and taste lovely – almond flakes mixed with glace cherries, mixed peel and cream, which are briefly baked then dipped in melted chocolate. Easy but bound to impress! Allow atleast 90 mins in total as they need to cool.
Both recipes make great edible gifts, if you can bring yourself to give them away… Here they are:
Millionaires shortbread (makes 12)
160g plain flour
60g caster sugar
215g unsalted butter, melted (I do this in the microwave)
1 x 397g tin condensed milk
100g light soft brown sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g milk chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. In a food processor, whizz the flour, caster sugar and 115g of the butter until it’s like breadcrumbs. Press in to an approx 18cm square tin (this doesn’t have to be exact) and prick with a fork. Chill for 20 mins, then bake for 30 mins, until just turning golden. Cool in the tin.
In a pan, heat the condensed milk, brown sugar, syrup and remaining 100g of butter. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time (be careful – it’s very hot!). Boil, still stirring, for 5-8 mins until thickened. Don’t panic if the sauce is a bit separated or not thickening well – it should come together and thicken up once it cools if not while it is heated. Pour the caramel onto the shortbread, then cool for 30 mins.
Melt the chocolate (I do mine in the microwave). Pour it on to the caramel. Chill for 2 hours until set, then remove from the tin and cut in to squares.
Recipe from Baking by Sainsburys
Florentines (makes approx 20)
25g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
15g plain flour
3 tbsp double cream
50g glace cherries, roughly chopped
100g flaked almonds
50g mixed peel
100g dark chocolate, broken in to pieces
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees/gas mark 5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment/paper. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and gradually add the cream. Bring to the boil, stirring until it thickens slightly. Take off the heat and stir in the cherries, almonds and mixed peel.
Place spoonfuls of the mixture on to the baking parchment (or in to the bases of a 12-hole muffin tray) and bake for approx 8 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool, then carefully remove with a palette knife/spatula.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water (or put the chocolate in a bowl and melt in the microwave). Pick up a florentine and dip the smooth underside in the chocolate (or spread over with a knife). Leave the florentines chocolate-side up until set.
Recipe from Waitrose magazine