Shortbread. So simple and yet so good. Only three ingredients can make you a wonderful, buttery, crumbly biscuit which is perfect to have on your own with a moment of calm and a cup of tea or to package up into a gift. Not only that, but you can use it as a base for all sorts of wonderful sweet treats - perhaps with cream or mousse on top or indeed, millionaire shortbread. However, I’ve always had dubious results when it comes to the caramel part of the shortbread-for-rich-people so I’m sharing a cheats method with you which I discovered by throwing a load of ingredients in my baking cupboard into a pan and has since become a family favourite.
From a cursory amount of research, the difference between regular shortbread and Scottish shortbread seems to be the addition of Semolina. This is because Scottish shortbread is particularly prized for its brittle, crumbly texture. For a really good shortbread it needs to be crisp the whole way through. I’ve used semolina in this recipe, but from past experience I can safely say that with the aid of the Base Heat function on the Rangemaster Multifunction Oven you can be sure of a crunchy shortbread even without the Scottish version of the ingredients. Base Heat is ideal for ensuring any kind of biscuit, pastry or pizza base has a crisp base. By cooking with Fan or Top & Bottom Heat for the first part and then switching to Base Heat you ensure the the dreaded soggy bottom is no where to be found. So, embrace the Base Heat and get baking those biscuits!
- 175g unsalted butter
- 75g caster sugar (preferably golden)
- 175g plain flour
- 75g semolina
- (non Scottish version of recipe here)
- 20cm diameter loose bottom fluted flan tin if making just shortbread
- OR two loaf tins lined with baking parchment if making malty millionaire shortbread
- Beat the butter until soft.
- Add the caster sugar and beat, not until pale and creamed but not far off.
- Add the flour and semolina and beat a little to combine.
- Bring the mix together with cold hands (wash in cold water and dry before handling) into a ball.
- On a floured surface, press it down turning as you go and then roll out to make a circle the size of the base of the flan tin. It’s ok if it’s a little short.
- Press down into the tin until even.
- Prick with a fork across the surface making sure the holes go right the way in and score deeply lines where you will cut it
- Bake at 150c in the centre of your main oven for 45min, then turn it to bottom heat only and continue to bake for another 30mins.
- It depends slightly on how brown you like your shortbread - you may want to take it out after 15mins if you want a pale shortbread.
- Score again while soft and leave to cool.
Malty Millionaire Shortbread
- 1x 200g packet of dairy toffees
- 70g butter
- 3 heaped tsp or horlicks / malted drink powder
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 100g dark chocolate
- Over a low heat slowly melt the toffee, butter, syrup and horlicks together.
- Stir regularly until the mixture is smooth.
- Pour over the shortbread.
- Leave to cool.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bowl over hot water.
- Pour over the top and leave to cool.
- Slice as best you can and chew away!