Three layers of moreish, addictive, crunchy, smooth and creamy, chocolatey sweet heaven. If you have a sweet tooth – it doesn’t get any better than these, trust me.
Shortbread – this base layer is buttery, melt in the mouth, crunchy, sweet but with a very slight salty kick, and made with just a few store cupboard ingredients. This famous Scottish treat is delicious on its own but topped with caramel and chocolate it definitely reaches new peaks.
Caramel – rich, smooth, creamy and sweet with a good kick of salt. A wonderful contrast to the crunchy shortbread, this layer is also made from just a few ingredients but it does take a little longer to prepare. It is not difficult but it requires patience. If you try to cook it too quickly, it will burn – not good!
Chocolate – topped with melted chocolate – milk, plain or white, (your choice) and, if you like, a sprinkling of sea salt. As a self confessed chocaholic, I think a really good and thick layer of chocolate on top is absolutely necessary, why mess around? We are not trying to make health food here, we’re creating a luxurious treat which feeds our soul and makes us smile!
I cannot think of enough superlatives to describe these incredible slices, you simply need to make them for yourselves! I have been making them since I was in school. The original recipe was in our local newspaper circa 1979 – 1980 although I don’t know who originally submitted it. I have adapted the recipe a little since then but not much.
The main change was to upscale the quantities to use a full tin of condensed milk in the caramel – the original recipe used 3/4 of the tin and I never knew what to do with the remainder. However, a thicker layer of caramel – that works for me! It was never an issue when I still lived with my parents as my mum and brother enjoyed the condensed milk neat, straight from the can and would argue about who was finishing it off! I prefer mine made into luscious caramel and sandwiched between crunchy shortbread and a thick layer of chocolate!
I made the batch in the pictures here for Andrew to take into the hospital. COVID is finally releasing its grip and he was able to operate for the first time in 3 months last week and wanted to take something in to share and celebrate! These beauties make wonderful gifts for all manor of reasons and, unless the weather is very hot, they are very easy to pack up and transport.
Caramel or Salted Caramel?
In fairness, if I offered my husband (he who doesn’t like sweet things) a Millionaire’s Shortbread he would probably say no, they’re too sweet. If I said they are Salted Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread, he would be all over them!! Which camp do you fall in? I obviously love both but would probably err on the side of salted. If I’m undecided, I make a normal caramel but scatter a few sea salt flakes on the chocolate to get the salty kick.
I always add a little bit of salt to my caramel anyway, but if making salted caramel, you just need to add a little more. The best way to do this is by taste. Hot caramel however is very, very hot, so be very careful when tasting! If making a batch for adults and children, I would make the normal caramel and then put some sea salt on some of the slices but not all. It is best to scatter on the sea salt before the chocolate has solidifed – this way it will adhere better to the top and not fall off when moved.
Making a half portion.
Sometimes I make a half portion. I often use condensed milk to make No Churn Ice Cream. For Charlotte’s birthday last week I made Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream which only uses half a tin of condensed milk. I used the remainder to whip up some Millionaire’s Shortbread – simply halve the ingredients and cook in a 15cm/6inch round tin.
How to make Millionaire’s Shortbread
Collect all your ingredients together:
semolina (or sub with plain/all-purpose flour)
Put the flour and semolina into the food processor with the salt. Briefly blitz to mix. Add the cubed butter and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the icing sugar and pulse until the mixture starts to come together. Tip the dough into a lined cake tin. Press evenly into the tin and level the surface. Prick the base all over and cook until lightly browned. Leave to cool whilst you make the caramel.
fine sea salt
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a moderately hot temperature. Do not take your eyes off it and stir continuously. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 13 – 15 minutes, stirring continuously, until the mixture has thickened and is a medium brown/caramel colour. (If making a half size, you will probably only need to cook it for around 10 minutes.) Pour over the shortbread base, making sure the surface is level and leave to cool before topping with the chocolate.
Chocolate Topping –
chocolate, milk, plain or white broken into pieces
sea salt (optional)
When the caramel is cold, melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie or in the microwave. Spread evenly over the caramel. If using, sprinkle some sea salt where you imagine the centre of each square will be. Leave to set in the baking tray and put it in the fridge for roughly an hour. Cut into 16 squares.
Made this recipe?
If you make this recipe, do please tag me on instagram @daffodilkitchen. You could also leave a comment in the box directly below the recipe.
80g semolina (or sub with plain/all-purpose flour)
160g unsalted butter
80g icing sugar
¼ teaspoon fine salt
1 x 400g tin condensed milk
200g unsalted butter
100g golden syrup
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt (or more for salted caramel)
250g chocolate, milk, plain or white broken into pieces
25g unsalted butter
sprinkling of sea salt (optional)
Make the shortbread: Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.
Preheat the oven to Fan Oven140°C/160°C/325°F/Gas 3.
Make in the food processor:
a) put the flour and semolina into the food processor with the salt. Pulse to mix.
b) add the cubed butter and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs
c) add the icing sugar and pulse until the mixture starts to come together
Make using an electric whisk:
a) beat room temperature butter, sugar and salt together until fluffy
b) fold the flour and semolina into the butter and sugar mix and use your hands to bring it together. Knead lightly until thoroughly mixed.
Make by hand:
a) put the flour and semolina into a mixing bowl with the salt. Stir to mix.
b) add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour untii it resembles breadcrumbs
c) add the icing sugar and stir to mix.
d) Use your hands to bring the dough together and then knead lightly until thoroughy mixed.
Whichever method you use to make the shortbread, tip the dough into a lined cake tin. Press the evenly into the tin and level the surface. I use the base of a ¼ cup measuring cup
Use a fork to prick the shortbread base before you cook it
Cook in a preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes. It is cooked when very lightly browned.
Leave to cool in the tin whilst you make the caramel.
Make the caramel: Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a moderately hot temperature. Do not take your eyes off it and stir continuously.
Continue to stir continuously and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer for 13 – 15 minutes, until the mixture has thickened and is a medium brown/caramel colour. (If making a half size, you will probably only need to cook it for around 10 minutes.)
Pour over the shortbread base, making sure the surface is level and leave to cool before adding the chocolate.
Top with Chocolate: When the caramel is cold, melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie or in the microwave. (See comments below). Spread evenly over the caramel.
Optional: sprinkle some sea salt where you imagine the centre of each square will be.
Leave to set in the baking tray and put it in the fridge for roughly an hour. Cut into 16 squares.
kitchen scales and measuring spoons
23cm/9-inch square tin, buttered and lined with baking parchment (or a 15cm/6 inch round tin for a half size.)
thick based saucepan
microwave safe medium size mixing bowl
Be very careful melting the chocolate. Chocolate can be very difficult to work with. You can overheat it very easily and the mixture will go grainy.
Microwave: I give the chocolate a minute in the microwave, take it out and stir it well, then let it sit for a few minutes to see if it continues melting sufficiently to melt all the chocolate. If not, I then continue with the microwave but in 10 – 15 second bursts.
Bain Marie: if you do not have a microwave, put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Heat until the chocolate and butter are very nearly melted then take it off the heat and take the bowl off the saucepan. Be very careful not to burn yourself as the bowl will be hot and steam will escape from the saucepan. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes for the residual heat to melt the remainder of the mixture. Again, be careful not to over-heat.