When I was younger and there was a school holiday I would be with my Granny in her kitchen. We made everything together and it was almost always successful. We still make things together now and my Grandad still sits in the lounge wondering what on earth we will come out of the kitchen with next. He seems happy to be taste tester!
We had decided to make millionaires shortbread because I loved it so much and still do. The shortbread went in the oven and the waiting game began as the house filled with delicious smells. We were all licking our lips. The caramel was made all golden and creamy and got spread on top of the shortbread like a blanket. We waited some more. The chocolate was melted and spooned generously out over the top. Some more waiting took place.With the chocolate set, the kettle was on. The tea was in the pot and the milk in the cups. My Granny had had the foresight to cut the shortbread into pieces before the caramel and chocolate had set and three glorious pieces were put on a plate.
It is a good thing that neither of my grandparents have false teeth. The hardness of that caramel would have ensured we were finding bits of false enamel in the lounge for months to come. I was at the age where loose teeth were commonplace and I'm surprised I didn't lose them all with the first bite. We all looked at each other, somewhat relieved at the lack of shattering teeth noises and decided we would give our best efforts to the birds. Who knows how many beaks got broken.
As far as I'm concerned, if my Granny had had a caramel failure then there was no way I could be successful. She has culinary bravery that I know not. However, despite all my concerns I tried it again.
If you want to play toffee roulette, then here's how.
You'll need to beat together 125g margarine with 75g caster sugar. When fluffy, sieve in 50g cornflour and 150g plain flour. Bring it together how you want your shortbread to be. I like mine crumbly so I leave it like big breadcrumbs. Press into a greased tin and bake at 150C for 30-40 minutes.
For the dreaded caramel, put 100g margarine, 75g caster sugar, 1tbsp golden syrup and 1/4 small can of evaporated milk into a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring the mixture to the boil, (it smells like everything good is happening in the pan) boil it for 10 minutes and do not abandon it. Stir it continuously. It doesn't matter if the doorbell rings or the dog wants to go out because you'll feel far worse regret from abandoning your caramel. Be careful as the mixture tends to gain volume with alarming ferociousness. After 7-8 minutes it will darken in colour and you really need to make sure it doesn't catch at the bottom.Perhaps I'm taking the caramel part a little seriously but I wasn't risking losing my precious gnashers. Spoon the caramel out onto the shortbread base and spread out with the back of the spoon. Melt yourself some chocolate - I went for dark but whatever is your favourite - and pour this on top of the caramel.
Lovely jubbly. To say I was chuffed would be an understatement, I was stupendously pleased with myself and promptly packed the shortbread into a tin and took it to my grandparents. We enjoyed it immensely with a nice cup of tea and all breathed a sigh of relief as our tongues confirmed the presence of all our molars.
All That I'm Eating
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