Oh the joy of a buttery shortcrust, topped with a caramel filling then simply glazed with a rich chocolate ganache. That is “Millionaire.”
Called the Millionaire Shortbread, Caramel Slice, Caramel Square or even the Millionaire’s Slice, this visually satisfying and tastebud’s best-friend, allegedly had its origins either in Scotland or Australia. Traveling the roads (and seas) through Great Britain, France, and of course America, the Millionaire is a great “bar dessert” and fun to make. It also seems to be impersonated in the great American tradition of candy making as the Twix Bar.
My take on the Millionaire is below, and I encourage you to play around with a basic idea and make it your own. What you need to know is just the basics: a shortbread crust, and caramel filling, and chocolate ganache topping. Now, have at it, and enjoy!
Orange-Pistachio Millionaire’s - makes approximately 24 pieces
For the Shortbread
2 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup ground roasted pistachio
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt (If using roasted-salted pistachio omit the Kosher salt)
1 cup/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened and cubed
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9x13” pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor, add the flour, pistachio, sugar, brown sugar, and salt if using; Pulse a few times to mix. Add the cubes of butter along with the egg yolks and pulse again to a crumbly mixture.
Turn the dough out into your prepared lines 9x13 pan. Press the crumble crust down into one even secure layer. I always find it helpful to use the bottom of a measuring cup to smooth out dough to get a nice even layer.
Place the pan in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and cool.
For The Caramel Filling
2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon portions
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup golden syrup (may use light corn syrup)
3 tablespoons Cointreau orange liqueur (Optional. May substitute with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
In a large non-stick saucepan, add the condensed milk, sugar, syrup and butter. Begin to heat, continually stirring, allowing the mixtures to blend and the butter to melt. Bring to a boil.
Lower the heat down to a simmer, still stirring, and cook until the caramel filling begins to thicken and turn a rich golden brown. This will take approximately 15 minutes or until the caramel starts pulling away from the saucepan.
Remove the caramel from the heat. Stir in the Cointreau liqueur (or vanilla) and the salt.
Pour the caramel over the cooled baked shortcrust layer. Smooth out evenly and a nice flat layer. Allow to cool on the counter, and then into the fridge to chill 3 hours to overnight.
For The Chocolate Topping
12 ounces good-quality bitter-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped or “chips”
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest, plus extra for garnish
Add the rough chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to a mixing bowl. Gently heat the heavy cream and orange zest to a scald or light simmer.
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for a minute or two. With a wooden spoon, mix the chocolate and cream into a smooth glossy ganache.
Pour the “hint of orange” chocolate ganache over the top of the chilled shortbread and caramel layers. Smooth out to a nice even layer.
Sprinkle the top with fresh orange zest and ground pistachio. Place back in the fridge to set up for 30 minutes to one hour. Slice the millionaires into three-inch scares and serve when ready. Enjoy!