Creme Egg Millionaire's Shortbread

I've been wanting to put a recipe for Millionaire's Shortbread up for a while.  Replacing the standard caramel with salted caramel was a given and as it's Easter, I added some extra 'goodness' in the form of Creme Eggs.  Inspired by James Morton’s recipe in How Baking Works for the Ultimate Millionaire’s Shortbread, this is a perfect Easter treat to go alongside some Hot Cross Buns - or frankly to replace the Simnel cake…

Of course you could do this without the Creme Eggs at any time of year.  And you probably should.

Ingredients

For the shortbread base:

100g softened, salted butter

50g golden caster sugar

150g plain flour


For the caramel:

125g condensed milk

100g sugar

100g golden syrup

30g butter

50ml cream

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

1/2 tsp Maldon salt


For the chocolate:

200g dark chocolate (70 or 80% cocoa solids - the darker chocolate counteracts the sweetness of the

Creme Eggs)

5 Creme Eggs (or mini eggs)

Method

First make your shortbread base.  Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/Gas 3 and line an 20cm square brownie tin with baking paper and grease the sides.  Using a wooden spoon to mix, combine the softened butter (in my case briefly microwaved butter) with the sugar in a bowl until it turns into a paste.  Add in the flour and mix using your hands till it combines together - it might look a little dry but that’s fine - it’ll be all the more gorgeously crumbly for this.

Push the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin, and bake for 10-15 minutes until the edges begin to colour.  Leave it to cool in the tin.

While your shortbread cools, make the salted caramel.  In a heavy-bottomed pan, put all the caramel ingredients except for the salt.  Over a medium-high heat, stirring regularly, cook until you start to see it darken in colour - keep stirring or it will catch.  Take it to a good strong caramel colour and it will start to change texture and thicken - usually takes 10 minutes or so.  Stir through the salt. 

Now pour your salted caramel onto your biscuit base - spreading it as evenly as you can. Leave this to cool for at least an hour (or overnight) before adding the chocolate.

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I followed James’ recipe closely for the chocolate work, as I know very little about it.  Simply break about three-quarters of the chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and chop the rest very finely.  Put the bowl in a microwave on full power for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between until all the chucks are melted. Once melted, add your finely chopped chocolate and stir until combined and fully molten.

Pour your chocolate onto your cooled caramel surface and spread gently with a knife. To level the surface you can pick it up and drop it onto your worktop, which is rather satisfying. 

Now for the Creme Eggs - just slice in half and arrange over the top of your Millionaire’s Shortbread ..

Leave it to set for at least an hour (not in the fridge as this will affect the chocolate), and then slice into squares.  These squares can be as small or as large as you like - you are in charge - but ideally will include a bit of Creme Egg. 

Happy Easter!

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