Millionaire’s shortbread was my childhood heaven like brownies for other people. I fell in love the minute my mum brought a tray from a business trip to Scotland – a crunchy shortbread base + decadent caramel + chocolate = bliss! When a Marks & Spencer’s opened in Frankfurt, we travelled all the way from Berlin just to bite into one of these moreish delights (that Marks & Spencer’s did not last long in spite of their heavenly baked goods, but that is another story).
Making a gluten free version of Millionaire’s shortbread has been on my to-do-list for a couple of years now. In fact, this is a gluten, dairy and soy free blog, so creating a Millionaire’s shortbread fit for No Worries Cooking was a bit like squaring the circle. There were many failed attempts – either the shortbread was ruined (I had heated the butter a couple of times – never do that!), or the caramel was NQR, or the chocolate burned while melting. But now I can finally tick it off the list: Here is a vegan, grain free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, and, in fact, paleo-ish version of Millionaire’s shortbread! I love ticking off items from my to-do lists, so this was a success on so many levels!
The shortbread base I have slightly adapted from a recipe for paleo all-purpose flour I found here. I am keen to try it in some other recipes as well, but it worked a treat in this shortbread. The caramel is a super quick vegan caramel sauce (of which I will post the recipe separately later), and the chocolate is my favourite, Lindt Excellence 90%. So it is really a lot easier to whip up this treat than I had antcipated, probably less than 30 minutes preparation, which should be the maximum amount of time you wait before trying this great recipe!
For a 20 cm square baking pan
For the shortbread base:
120 g coconut flour
100g almond meal
60g tapioca flour
pinch of salt
1 “flax egg” (1 tbsp milled flaxseed dissolved in 4 tbsp filtered water)
150g coconut oil or vegan butter, softened
50g rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
For the caramel:
1 tin full-fat coconut cream, chilled overnight
1 tbs molasses
dash of vanilla extract
generous pinch of sea salt
150g rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
dollop of coconut oil or vegan butter
For the chocolate topping:
200g vegan dark chocolate (at least 80% cocoa)
Preheat oven to 180 °C. Prepare one 20 cm square baking pan by lining with baking paper. Mix all ingredients for the shortbread in a large mixing bowl and mix with your hands until everything comes together and the mass resembles crumble. Note: it will take a while to come together, but you should really use your hands as the warmth of your hands will soften the butter, thus helping to combine the fat molecules of the butter with the dry ingredients. (And you get to lick your fingers, yum!) Once the dough resembles a crumbly mass, pack firmly to build a “ball” and chill for up to 30 minutes (though you can skip this step). Press firmly and evenly down the baking pan and pierce holes into the fough with a fork. Bake for approx. 20 minutes until the edges start to lightly golden.
Meanwhile, prepare the caramel. The solid part of the coconut cream should be on top of the tin. Scoop it out and into a small saucepan. The leftover coconut water can be used for smoothies. Add the remaining caramel ingredients bar the butter and slowly heat over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer until the caramel starts to bubbly and thicken up. Stir, stir, stir! Once the caramel has the desired consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Pour into the tin on top of the baked shortbread and refrigerate for one or two hours.
Once set, melt the chocolate in a double boiler while constantly stirring until completely melted. Pour on top of the shortbread and caramel and refrigerate again for another hour or so.
Once everything is firm and set, lift out of the tin and cut into squares with a very sharp knife.