Sunday Brunch

Billionaires shortbread recipe

This is a very rich treat with layers of chocolate biscuit, toasted hazelnut toffee and a dark chocolate topping from baking expert Stacie Stewart


Stacie: "This recipe came about when I was looking for a new chocolate biscuit recipe. I knew all the components I wanted to go into it – brownie, toffee, hazelnuts and chocolate – and after a few trials the billionaires’ shortbread was born. It’s very rich, so it’s lovely cut into small pieces, and it’s easy to slice up once chilled. The middle layer is a cheat’s toffee (perfect for a banoffee pie, too). It sounds like a lot of stages, but the whole process won’t take any more than 2 hours – and most of that is chilling time."

Makes about 15–20 pieces

Ingredients

For the chocolate base

  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder


For the hazelnut toffee layer

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup (light corn syrup)
  • 50g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 400g can condensed milk
  • 100g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped


For the chocolate topping

  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm/8in square loose-bottomed tin with baking parchment (or use a 33 x 20cm/13 x 8in disposable foil container).

  2. To make the chocolate base, melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and then beat in the eggs. Sift the flour and cocoa together, then beat into the chocolate mixture until evenly combined. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 20–25 minutes. Leave in the tin on a wire rack to cool slightly; it will firm up as it cools.

  3. To make the hazelnut toffee layer, melt the butter, syrup and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then add the condensed milk. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring continuously, for 10–15 minutes, until the mixture is a dark caramel colour. (You have to stir all the time or the toffee will stick and burn.)

  4. Remove the toffee from the heat and stir in the toasted nuts. Spread evenly over the chocolate base and transfer to the fridge to cool completely. This will take around an hour, although you can prepare this stage up to a day in advance.

  5. For the topping, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir in the vegetable oil to give it a shine and make it a little looser. Pour this over the caramel layer and smooth out, then transfer to the fridge to cool and set.

  6. Cut into small squares. These will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to a week.



Recipe from Stacie Bakes: Classic Cakes and Bakes for the Thoroughly Modern Cook published by Pavilion

Average rating: 3/5
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Friday 05 April 2013
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