Last year I ate at the fat duck in Bray, I got to eat many wonderful things and was given a copy of the big fat duck cookbook, the original giant 5.6Kg format. Now its a very very nice book, but it is full of recipes and they demand to be used. The shortbread (and accompanying chocolate wine) wasn't on the menu when I was there but I really wanted to taste it.
Some of the recipes in here are scary, the chocolate wine being a case in point, a centrifuge ? whey powder ? Gellan ? I know why these ingredients & techniques are used, but it can''t really happen in my kitchen. The millionaires shortbread didn't seem too scary. I couldn't get T45 flour, but knowing its a plain fine white flour allowed me to substitute.
treacle tart recipe for HB's take on pastry resting) When it comes out you've got a rich firm dough, which you roll out very thin & return to the fridge to rest for a couple more hours.
That leaves the chocolate top. The recipe calls for 24hrs of sous-vide but a bit of reading suggested that this was to temper the chocolate, a bit of reading suggested some work with a digital thermometer would allow me to temper the chocolate reasonably well, so I got that all set up & ready.
The shortbread goes into a slow oven (gas 2) for 15 minutes, you've rolled it out pretty thin, so it doesn't take long. At this point I realized I had a lot more caramel & chocolate than shortbread, but never mind I had a plan.
The book calls for 1cm x 4cm slices, which I felt were a little small so we went with 4cm squares instead. The caramel is a bit of a bugger to work with, that could quite easily be me not getting it to the correct temperature or just my lack of skill with caramel.
That's the final assembled product. I had gold leaf, not powder so I scribbled gold onto the chocolate rather than gold coating the salt crystals. Once again hard work with a worthwhile outcome.
The left over caramel got used with a more ordinary millionaires shortbread that we christened "public sector shortbread". I used a straight flour & butter shortbread & just spread the top with melted chocolate, which gives a very different mouth feel from the sharp snap of the tempered chocolate. We gave it a light gold scribble because as we all know the public sector isn't that rich
All jolly tasty and I''ll definitely give it another go when I've got a better thermometer and a smooth sided & bottomed pan for the caramel.