It’s Caramel Week for week three of the Great British Bake Off and I’m back to the beginning — the Signature Challenge. This means next week I’ll take on whatever the Technical is for week four, then Showstopper for week five and so on.
So for week three, Prue and Paul asked the bakers to create their signature millionaires shortbread. Here is mine:
- 226g / 1 cup butter, softened
- 46g / 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 300g / 2 1/4 cups flour
- Hand mixer
- Medium-sized bowl
- Cooling rack
- Cookie sheet
- Ring mold or acetate and tape
- Cookie cutter
- 9 x 9 brownie tin
- parchment paper
- Add in the flour little by little. Make sure your dough is soft not wet.
- Chill dough prior to rolling. Chill dough just before baking.
- Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer.
- Add in 1 1/4 cups flour and mix well with your hand.
- With your clean hand, sprinkle 1/2 cup of flour on the bench/counter and tip dough onto the flour. Knead for about 5 minutes, adding flour as you go to create a soft dough. Dough should not be sticking to the bench or your fingers.
- Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Place chilled dough between two large pieces of parchment paper and roll out to about 1/2-inch thickness.
- Cut dough with 3-inch biscuit cutters.* You’ll get 9 shortbreads out of this recipe.
- Place the shortbread on an ungreased cookie sheet and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat oven 325 deg. F while you wait.
- Prick each shortbread and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Take out and cool on cooling racks while you make your caramel and ganache.
*Alternatively, you can cut your dough to fit a 9 x 9 brownie tin. Make sure to line the tin with parchment paper. Same baking temperature and time applies, though you may have to bake a little bit longer; check every 3 to 5 minutes past the 25-minute mark. Save leftover dough by wrapping in cling film then putting in a ziplock bag. Put in the freezer take out when you want a quick bake later.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Small whisk
- Small heat-proof spatula
- Small heavy-bottomed sauce pan
- Don’t let any moisture hit the sugar whilst you are melting it. This will cause crystallization and you won’t have a smooth caramel.
- Do not leave your sugar alone. It can burn very quickly.
- Heat sugar over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.
- Sugar will melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid. Add the butter pieces as soon as you hit this stage and switch from the spatula to your whisk to incorporate the butter with the sugar as it melts.
- Slowly drizzle in the heavy cream while whisking. The sugar will bubble and may splatter as you add the cream so be careful.
- Boil the caramel for a minute.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Move to a cool burner to cool down.
Watch the BFD caramel making video.
While the caramel cools, prep your shortbread. Wrap each biscuit with acetate to form a mold. Keep acetate together with tape.
Once the caramel is cool, pour over the shortbread to create a thin layer and allow to set. Same goes if making in the brownie tin. You’ll have some leftover caramel which you can store in an airtight container in the fridge for two weeks.
While the caramel sets, make your ganache by:
- measuring out 150 g of 62% cacao dark chocolate chips into a bowl.
- Heat 100 ml of heavy cream in a microwave safe mug for about 30 – 45 seconds; cream should be steaming not boiling over.
- Pour over chocolate and let sit for 2 – 3 minutes. Stir the chocolate until it is incorporated into the cream and it becomes a fairly thick mixture.
Pour chocolate over the caramel layer to make a thin chocolate layer. (I did not have any leftover ganache using this recipe.) Allow to cool in the fridge for at least half an hour. Once set, remove acetate and enjoy.
If you used the brownie tin, take the millionaires shortbread out by pulling from the parchment paper. It should all slide out. Cut in to squares or thin rectangles and enjoy.
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