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Caramel layer for millionaire shortbread - temperature issues


PassionateAmateur
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Hi All,

After binge watching Great British Bake Off, I decided to make Millionaire Shortbread (cookie bars with shortbread base, caramel layer, chocolate layer on top).  All the recipes I found online had slight variations on the following for the caramel layer:  sweetened condensed milk + sugar + butter, boil x amount of time.  Experiments came out bland, over-sweet, underwhelmingly caramelly, and grainy - blech.  Yesterday I decided to tweak my regular caramel sauce recipe to make my own -- I believe I ended up going with 800 g sugar, 440 g heavy cream, 360 g butter, dash of salt - I cooked the sugar to nice dark caramel, added the dairy & salt, then boiled, stirring until temp came back up to 238 degrees F.  Poured over cooked shortbread in pan, let cool a bit, covered with melted chocolate and let set overnight at room temp.  The flavor and smoothness is out-friggin-standing.  But, while I've gotten rid of the graininess, I have definitely not chosen the correct temperature, as it seriously oozes when I cut into bars, rather than cutting cleanly.  Anybody have any thoughts on what temp I should have used?  Clearly 238 is not a winner.  (though I am still totally happy eating these with a fork, since they can't be finger food).

Thanks!

Emily

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the recipe I have for something similar is

  • 504g sugar
  • 176g glucose syrup
  • 100g water
  • 675g cream
  • 5 vanilla beans
  • 405g butter
  • 68g honey
  • 7g salt
  • 2g bicarbonate soda

Boil the cream & scraped vanilla beans. Cook the sugar, water & glucose to 293F. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter & honey, add the hot cream in three portions. Add salt & bicarb, reheat to 246F (with plenty of whisking, obviously).

 

This is from Chocolate to Savour by Kirsten Tibballs

Edited by keychris
Who can forget to add vanilla?? (log)
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So I made this on the weekend. It's definitely firm enough to cut easily with a serrated knife and it holds shape for long enough that there wasn't any deformation whilst I dipped 36 bars over the course of an hour or so. It's definitely chewy but not pull-fillings-out-of-teeth chewy.

 

And it is absolutely delicious. I'll post some photos later on :)

Edited by keychris (log)
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I just remembered that America's Test Kitchen had a segment on Millionaire's shortbread.  This is available on-line for those interested.  Their caramel layer consists of:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white corn syrup

8 T unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup whipping cream.

 

This was cooked over medium heat to between 236 and 239F, stirring 9nce in a while.

 

I have never been able to make this successfully and plan on giving this recipe a shot one day.

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

I just remembered that America's Test Kitchen had a segment on Millionaire's shortbread.  This is available on-line for those interested.  Their caramel layer consists of:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white corn syrup

8 T unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

1/2 t salt

1/2 cup whipping cream.

 

This was cooked over medium heat to between 236 and 239F, stirring 9nce in a while.

 

I have never been able to make this successfully and plan on giving this recipe a shot one day.

Sounds like a job for a control freak!

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15 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

Sounds like a job for a control freak!

 

You betcha! 😁  First up, though, I want to try tempering chocolate, possibly tomorrow.  I have dark, milk and white on hand.

 

 

 

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Just now, ElsieD said:

 

You betcha! 😁  First up, though, I want to try tempering chocolate, possibly tomorrow.  I have dark, milk and white on hand.

 

 

 

Be interested to hear how it goes.

 

 

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 @PassionateAmateur Stella Parks (Bravetart) has a recipe for "milk duds" on seriouseats.com . The caramel recipe within the recipe might solve your caramel problem.  https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/10/homemade-milk-duds-recipe.html

"Flay your Suffolk bought-this-morning sole with organic hand-cracked pepper and blasted salt. Thrill each side for four minutes at torchmark haut. Interrogate a lemon. Embarrass any tough roots from the samphire. Then bamboozle till it's al dente with that certain je ne sais quoi."

Arabella Weir as Minty Marchmont - Posh Nosh

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