Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread
When I was growing up, my brother would ALWAYS ask for millionaires shortbread at the bakery. He doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I honestly don’t think he even liked millionaires shortbread very much - he just liked the notion that eating like a millionaire might make him a millionaire.
I, on the other hand, LOVE millionaires shortbread and couldn’t care less about being a millionaire (give me an oven and a well stocked pantry and I’m happy!). The dark chocolate balances the sweetness of the caramel which is followed by the richness of the shortbread. Add some flaky sea salt in there and you’ve got yourself a masterpiece! This recipe makes a pretty big tray of MS so pace yourself, ok? Don’t eat it all in one hour (like I did).
For the Shortbread
250g plain white flour
75g icing sugar
pinch fine sea salt
175g vegan butter (I use “baking block”)
For the Caramel
170g vegan butter or margarine
200g golden syrup (brown rice syrup or corn syrup also work great)
170g dark brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
150ml oat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
pinch sea salt
For the Chocolate
200g vegan dark chocolate (minimum 60% cacao)
To Make the Shortbread
Preheat the oven to 160c.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Chop the vegan butter into cubes and add to the bowl with the flour. Work the butter into the flour by pinching everything together and rubbing the ingredients between your finger tips. Do this until you have a bowl of sandy textured flour with no large lumps of butter. The mixture will feel quite dry. Turn the mixture out onto a surface and knead it together to form a large ball of dough.
Line a 23x33cm rectangular cake tin with a sheet of baking parchment. Press the dough into the bottom of the tin, forming a smooth, even layer of dough. Prick the dough lightly with a fork all over and place in the preheated oven to bake for 20 minutes or until very lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool fully in the tin before transferring to the fridge.
Meanwhile, make the caramel. In a large saucepan add all the caramel ingredients except for the vanilla and the salt. Place over a medium/low heat and stir with a heat-proof spatula until all the butter is melted and the sugars dissolved completely. Using a probe thermometer, bring the caramel to 115c (you may have to increase the heat to get it there, but trust me, it will get there!). Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and salt and stir continuously (off the heat!) for around 10 minutes while the caramel cools. It will thicken dramatically!
Once thick, set aside and allow to cool for a further 5-10 minutes (it should still be runny enough to pour or spoon over the shortbread, so keep checking the texture regularly). Pour or spoon over the shortbread in the tin, even out with your spoon and then return to the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
For the Chocolate
Chop the chocolate roughly into small pieces. Place in a medium heat-proof bowl and sit over a small pan of boiling water. Allow the steam from the water to heat the bowl and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly with a spatula. Pour the chocolate over the chilled caramel and then set aside on the counter to set fully. Once set, slice with a hot knife (otherwise the chocolate will crack) into squares or bars and serve!