Weekend Bakes: Shortbread Time!

As the weekend approaches, I know that many of you will be planning a little leisurely kitchen time to bake up treats for your loved ones… and yourselves too, I hope! This one is so much fun and oh so rewarded when it comes to getting stuck in over a cup of tea…

Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread. Just click on the words for the recipe.

Need I say any more? This recipe is much easier to make than it first appears; it looks complicated because there are three stages and an unavoidable amount of waiting time involved. If I could make things cool quicker, set quicker, chill quicker for you, please believe that I would.

The shortbread is a simple ‘mix everything together and press into a tin’ job. A top tip for baking shortbread came from a chef friend of mine David Buchanan who is Scottish, so knows his shortbread! David told me to make sure to prick my shortbread all over with a fork before baking to prevent it from puffing up in the oven. It’s a top tip – you will feel insane but stab that shortbread like you have a grudge and leave tiny forked holes all over the surface. The holes will all close up as the shortbread bakes and it will be a wonderfully even bake.

I’m now congratulating myself for explaining that with far less innuendo that David did when he tweeted something along the lines of ‘not enough pricks, chef’! That conversation ended up in the gutter very quickly!

Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread Slice

For the salted caramel, keep your phone handy so that you can check social media whilst waiting for the colour to change. It takes around 10 minutes to get to the stage where the caramel will set nicely and it never really goes a deep brown – you are looking for a tawny golden brown, like tea. Make sure that you use a nice quality salt flake. I use Cornish Sea Salt and have found that this is much stronger than Maldon Sea Salt (if you use Maldon, you may wish to add a second teaspoon). Do not be tempted to taste the caramel from the pan as you will quite seriously scald your tongue! You can wait for the caramel to cool a little before it needs to pour onto the shortbread so be patient if you would like to taste for saltiness.

Really, patience is the name of the game here. The caramel will need to cool completely before you can top with melted chocolate and then you need a while for this to set before you can carve into generous slabs – a hot knife will help you to cut neatly.

Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread Slice2

I was in the mood to share a shortbread recipe for you all to enjoy this weekend as I have just been asked to attend the Foodies Festival in Edinburgh 5th – 7th August! I cannot wait to visit Edinburgh again and meet some more lovely Scottish foodies. The last time I was in town, I visited Tom Kitchin’s restaurant The Kitchin with the team from The Cake & Bake Show and I am hoping that I will have time to visit The Scran & Scallie this time. Any other recommendations for me? I’d love to hear them and I hope to see loads of you there in a few weeks time.

Stay gorgeous!