My cousin loves nuts, so I invented this nut-and-nutella Millionaire’s Shortbread for her. It’s a luxurious variation that has nutella shortbread as the base, and then lots of chopped toasted hazelnuts in the caramel.
I’m not going to lie to you: it’s got some tricky bits. But the end result is worth it, if you like nuts.
(No eggs, and could easily be gluten-free. Packed with calories, sorry).
Double-N Millionaire Shortbread
You need to get the butter softened ahead of making this, and then leave the finished product to cool thoroughly, preferably overnight. So get started two days ahead of when you want it. It keeps well, so you can make it further ahead if you want to.
Very large bowl
A big spoon
Hand whisk, preferably a Magiwhisk
Deep baking tray 22cm x 33cm x 4cm (9″ by 14″ by 2″)
Baking liner, or baking parchment
For nutella shortbread base and hazelnuts:
Butter – 185g
Hazelnuts – 150g
Nutella, or equivalent hazlenut spread – 220g
Plain flour – 250g
Butter – 200g
Condensed milk – one can (400g or 376g)
Golden syrup – 4 tablespoons (100g)
Chocolate – 300g
Butter – 50g
Stage one – the night before
You need the butter to be softened, so get it out of the fridge and leave it to soften overnight.
Stage two – toasting the hazelnuts and the Nutella shorbread base
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees (conventional), 170 degrees (fan).
- Line the base of your baking tin with a liner or baking paper.
- Spread the nuts out in the tin.
- Bake the nuts until toasted. Watch them carefully, and check them constantly. Mine took about 10 minutes but it varies drastically depending on how dry the nuts are.
- Leave the nuts to cool for a bit while you make the shortbread base.
- Mix 185g butter with the nutella until they are smooth and blended.
- Add the flour and mix together until the mixture is smooth.
- Empty the hazelnuts into a small bowl.
- Clean out the baking tin of any bits of hazelnut skin
- Squash the shortbread mixture into the tin. It will seem like it isn’t enough, but be firm and you’ll be able to make it stretch for the whole tin. Try to make it as even as possible but don’t worry if it’s a bit bumpy here and there.
- Prick the shortbread all over with a fork. If it seems uneven in places, squash it some more to even it up.
- Bake the shortbread for about 15 minutes until it smells fragrant and has firmed up.
- While the shortbead is baking, rub the hazelnuts to remove the majority of their skins. Don’t worry about any bits of skin that don’t come off easily.
- Cut each hazelnut into half and then half again. Some of them will fall into smaller bits – that’s fine. You want a mixture of quarters of hazelnut and smaller pieces.
- When the shortbread has baked, sprinkle the hazelnuts evenly over the base and set aside to cool.
Stage three – making the caramel
This bit sounds easy enough, but the caramel mixture bubbles up alarmingly when you whisk it. You need to be very careful about getting it out and whisking it after each minute of cooking.
The caramel gets extremely hot and can burn itself, and you, very easily. Be careful
- Get out the largest microwave-proof bowl that you have that will fit your microwave.
- Put 200g butter, the condensed milk and the golden syrup in the bowl. If the bowl is more than a quarter full, you’re in trouble – sorry. Try cooking the mixture on the stove instead. (I’ve found it’s too easy to burn when I do this).
- Microwave the mixture for 1 minute on high.
- Use the whisk to stir it.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the mixture goes a nice rich mid-brown caramel colour.
- Pour the caramel over the hazelnuts, squashing it out as evenly as possible with a spatula.
- Set aside to cool.
Stage four – the chocolate topping
At this point, I got fancy and used 100g of white chocolate, 100g of plain chocolate and 100g of milk chocolate so I did this stage three times with a third of the butter each time. If you want to be a bit simpler, just do it once with plain chocolate.
- Break up the chocolate into a microwave-proof bowl.
- Add 50g butter.
- Microwave the mixture for 1 minute on high.
- Stir gently.
- Microwave for 15 seconds on high
- Stir more vigorously
- Repeat steps 5 and 6, mircowaving for 15 seconds each time, until the chocolate is willing to become a nice smooth mixture. Be cautious with the time because it’s easy to burn the choclate or get it “seized” (where it goes all grainy and looks horrible)
- Pour the chocolate onto the caramel and spread it out evenly.
- (At this stage, I dropped splodges of the different types of chocolate and then swirled them together with a skewer).
- Set aside to cool, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
Stage five – cutting it up
When the whole thing is thoroughly cool, turn it out onto a cutting board and cut it into the size you prefer. I got 48 smallish pieces out of it; it’s a very rich item.
For selling at a cake stall, I’d go for 24 generous pieces.
For 48 pieces: about 200 calories each
For 24 pieces: about 400 calories each.
Origins of this recipe
The nutella pastry is a modification of an idea in the Australian Women’s Weekly book “The Cake Stall”
The caramel is adapted from Nigella Lawson’s recipe in “Domestic Goddess”
This is my first go at an ‘Alphabake’, hosted this month by Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker