Christ­mas mil­lion­aires

Lure hun­gry fes­tive shop­pers to your craft stall with this Christ­mas spiced version of an al­ready ir­re­sistible short­bread treat.

Craftseller - - Bake It - By Mel Sher­wood

ur fes­tive mil­lion­aire's short­bread is im­pos­si­ble to re­sist – the caramel layer is laced with Christ­mas spices, while a chocolate or­ange top­ping makes a deca­dent fin­ish. If making lots of th­ese treats, then in­vest in a pot of or­ange essence and make your own flavoured chocolate, but for just one batch, a sin­gle bar of or­ange chocolate is bet­ter value, and just as de­li­cious.

O OHow to make the mil­lion­aire’s short­bread

To make the short­bread, grease and line the cake tin and pre­heat the oven to 150ºC, 140ºF, Gas Mark 2. Blitz the flour and but­ter in a food pro­ces­sor un­til you have fine bread crumbs, then add the sugar, and blitz un­til com­bined. Pour into the tin, even out the sur­face with the back of a spoon, then press down firmly with your knuck­les. Bake for 30 min­utes, then set aside.

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When the short­bread is nearly cool, make the caramel. Mea­sure out the spices and sieve into a bowl, ready for use. In a deep pan, melt to­gether the sugar and but­ter. Once com­bined, add the con­densed milk, bring­ing to a rapid boil and stir­ring con­tin­u­ously. Cook for two min­utes un­til the fill­ing has thick­ened. Take off the ring and, as soon as the bub­bling has died down, stir in the spices. Pour over the short­bread and re­frig­er­ate un­til set.

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Once com­pletely cool, add the chocolate. Us­ing two sep­a­rate bain maries, melt both the choco­lates, adding a lit­tle but­ter to each one (this will make the chocolate top­ping eas­ier to bite). Once melted, pour the dark chocolate over the caramel. If us­ing, stir the or­ange ex­tract into the molten milk chocolate, then use it to roughly draw a thick-lined grid over the dark chocolate. Use a knife to mar­ble the two choco­lates to­gether. Leave overnight to set. Us­ing a hot, sharp knife (dip it in a jug of freshly boiled wa­ter be­tween each cut, and wipe clean with kitchen roll), cut the short­bread into 24 rec­tan­gles.

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