This is the first time I’ve had a chance to sit down and write something for weeks….sorry lovely readers, don’t know where the time has gone. I thought I would make up for it in spades by wowing you with a sticky, chocolatey, delicious childhood favourite of surely everyone on the planet….millionaire’s shortbread. And yes, this version is all gluten free and dairy free and is just as sticky, chocolatey and delicious as you remember it!
Did you know that Millionaire’s Shortbread is called Millionaire’s Shortbread because it is very rich in ingredients and tastes ‘like a million dollars’, so the saying goes…..lots of butter, which at one time would would have only been afforded by the rich and famous. Well, my version doesn’t have butter in it but it does have it’s own rather expensive ingredient, the beautiful, sweet and succulent medjool date. Because the processes for growing premium medjool dates are extremely time intensive, environment specific and a labor of love for their producers, the price of medjool dates is significantly higher than your regular Californian dates.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you had no idea what a medjool date was until they started popping up their pretty brown heads all over the place on tv shows and in ‘healthy’ cookbooks. Deliciously Ella uses kilograms of them everyday it seems and anyone who’s anyone trying to lower the sugar content of their baking use them as a sugar substitute. Ironically, they actually pack a hefty caloric punch — a serving of just 3 dates contains 199 calories — but, they are also loaded with good minerals (potassium in particular), vitamins and fiber which boosts their nutritional value. They are a completely natural, unprocessed sugar substitute so, in moderation, they make a great addition to ‘healthier’ baking.
Used here in this recipe I have turned a small packet of medjool dates into the most delicious, moreish salted caramel filling for these pretty-as-a-picture squares of millionaire’s shortbread. Blended with almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt flakes the dates turn into a gooey and indulgent caramel. Swirled over ice cream, stirred through chocolate brownies or as a topping for a hot bowl of porridge, this date caramel is a total winner!
I have taken the recipe for the shortbread from the Honeybuns Bakery gluten free cookbook, which is full of inspiring and tasty recipes from flapjacks to cakes, brownies and muffins, well worth getting if you’re a regular gluten free baker. It’s an easy peasy bake made by just blending up the various flours with ground almonds and vegetable butter and popping in the oven for just 20 minutes. Crumbly and sweet it makes the perfect shortbread biscuit base for all sorts of bakes.
Salted Caramel Millionaire's Shortbread
GF DF VE
You will need this:
For the shortbread:
- 200g vegetable butter
- 90g icing sugar
- 90g cornflour
- 90g rice flour
- 60g ground almonds
For the caramel:
- 300g medjool dates
- 150ml hot water
- 4tbsp of almond butter
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 1tsp sea salt flakes
- Plus 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% dark choc is naturally dairy free)
You make it like this:
- Weigh out all the shortbread ingredients straight into your food processor bowl and blitz until it forms a light coloured, soft and sticky mixture
- Line a 10inch square baking tray (or something in a similar size like a tray bake pan as long as it has reasonably high sides) with baking parchment
- Press the mixture evenly into the tray and bake for 20mins at 180degrees
- Allow to cool or pop into the freezer for 20mins to cool completely
- At the same time blend all the caramel ingredients together until they form a lovely gooey dark brown sauce (check the salt seasoning and add enough for your taste)
- Take the cool shortbread out and pour the caramel mixture in a layer, smoothing it to the edges and pop back into the fridge/freezer to set
- Break the 200g dark chocolate into a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until it’s melted and once the date mixture is cool pour the chocolate straight over the top. Tip the tray around so the chocolate fills the entire top of the baking tray in one smooth glossy layer.
- Once the chocolate layer has just started to harden run a large knife through in order to score your squares so it should make them easier to cut later
- Leave to cool in the fridge/freezer before cutting into squares (as I mention below it’s really best to leave them overnight to make it easier to cut them neatly)
Now….I must confess…I was way too impatient to cut these little babies into their supposedly perfect squares of deliciousness and (embarrassed face) look what happened:
Oops! So my tip is…..don’t rush it!! lol. I suspect you need to leave them in the freezer probably overnight so that the caramel is properly set. I also think before they have set completely you should score the squares, at least through the chocolate layer before it gets too hard, so that when you come to cut them you already have score lines to follow. And I also think using a large knife run under hot water will help with neatness. Unlike me. What a mess!!!!!
Out of the 16 I only ended up with 2 pretty ones, so here they are! This is what they could all look like if you’re not an impatient greedy guts like me! Enjoy!
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 11 g||17 %|
|Saturated Fat 3 g||13 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 5 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0 %|
|Sodium 173 mg||7 %|
|Potassium 223 mg||6 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 47 g||16 %|
|Dietary Fiber 4 g||16 %|
|Sugars 29 g|
|Protein 3 g||6 %|
|Vitamin A||1 %|
|Vitamin C||0 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|