If Millionaire's Shortbread Is Improved, Does It Become Billionaire's Shortbread?
Landlords accept wealthy pastries as payment these days, right? Make this Ottolenghi recipe and find out.
September 29, 2017 ● 3 min read
(And speaking of Ottolenghi, in celebration of the release, we've partnered with TASTE magazine to send one reader on a bonkers getaway to London. Entries accepted until October 31, 2017!)
We dunno, we were already on board with anything containing chewy caramel on crumbly shortbread before we had our minds blown. Leave it to Ottolenghi and Goh to one-up CARAMEL.—CF
BY YOTAM OTTOLENGHI AND HELEN GOH | IMAGE PEDEN + MUNK
A three-layered bar with a shortbread bottom, halva middle, and glossy tahini caramel top—this was a winning combination just waiting to happen. And happen it did, thanks to Paulina Bembel, our head pastry chef. Paulina, who comes from Poland, skillfully uses our Middle Eastern favorites—tahini and halva—to transform the famously cloying millionaire’s shortbread into something so much better, with a slight bitterness and a touch of salt to offset all that sweetness.
Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp/40 g confectioners’ sugar
3 ½ tbsp/35 g cornstarch
2 ½ tbsp/40 g granulated sugar
¾ cup/170 g unsalted butter, melted, and set aside to cool slightly
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups/250 g all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
7 oz/200 g halva, roughly crumbled into small pieces
1/3 cup/70 g tahini paste
1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
½ cup/120 ml water
7 tbsp/100 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
1/3 cup/80 ml heavy cream
1/3 cup/70 g tahini paste
¼ tsp flaky sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Line an 8-inch/20-cm square pan with parchment paper, making sure that the paper rises up over the edges of the pan.
2. To make the shortbread, sift the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place, then add the granulated sugar and mix on medium speed. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the melted butter and beat until combined. Add the vanilla extract and turn the speed to low, then sift in the flour and salt and continue to beat until the dough comes together. Tip the mixture into the pan and use your hands to pat and even out the surface. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside until completely cool; this will take an hour or so, so don’t start making the caramel too soon or it will have set by the time the shortbread is cool.
3. To make the halva, place the halva and tahini in a small bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Spread the mix over the cooled shortbread and use the back of a spoon to smooth it into an even layer.
4. To make the tahini caramel, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and cook—still at a boil—for about 12 minutes, until the sugar is a deep golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the butter and cream; take care here, as the mixture will splutter. Whisk to combine and, once the butter has melted, add the tahini and salt. Whisk to combine again, then pour evenly over the halva layer in the pan, so that all of the halva is covered.
5. Place in the fridge for 4 hours until set, before cutting into bars, about 1 x 4 inches/3 x 10 cm. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the middle of each bar and serve.
The shortbread layer can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in an airtight container. It also freezes well.
These will keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge. Remove 20 minutes before serving, to take off the chill.
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM SWEET: DESSERTS FROM LONDON'S OTTOLENGHI BY YOTAM OTTOLENGHI AND HELEN GOH, COPYRIGHT © 2017. PUBLISHED BY TEN SPEED PRESS, AN IMPRINT OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE LLC. PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: PEDEN + MUNK © 2017