I seriously cannot think of anything amusing or intelligent to say today. I am pretty much too tired to do anything other than stare at my laptop screen and hope that it will soon be lunch time. It is, as ever, all my own fault. 4 bottles of wine and an evening spent with friends is not conducive to a productive Thursday. Especially not when you get home and then demand that your boyfriend stay up late with you and watch the first two episodes of series two of Luther. When I first started work, we quite often went out during the week and would stumble home at 3am after a night of overpriced shooters and be perfectly fine the next day. Now I can barely function if I don't get at least seven hours sleep.
As a result of my slight hangover and complete exhaustion, all I can think about when I try to write about this recipe is the bit from Austin Powers where Dr Evil demands 'a hundred billion dollars'. Which is hilarious but hardly earth-shattering.
It does, however, lead me neatly on to my billionaire's shortbread which is, basically, a poshed up version of a cookie/cake/slice called millionaire's shortbread. Traditionally, millionaire's shortbread has a layer of buttery, shortbread, a layer of caramel and a layer of dark chocolate. For my superior version, I kept with a fairly standard biscuit base but topped it with the joy that is salted caramel and white chocolate. And a sprinkle of sea salt just for good measure. It probably would have been a more luxurious dessert if I hadn't had to use a giant milky bar to make the topping and had been able to find some good quality white chocolate but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to my local supermarket.
It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet and the sensation of biting through a layer of chocolate, a layer of caramel and a layer of crumbly biscuit is perfect. Each slice probably has about a million calories but it's so worth it.
Adapted from the BBC and The Telegraph
For the the shortbread
250g plain four
75g caster sugar
175g unsalted butter, cold
For the topping
400g condensed milk
115g unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp sea salt and more for sprinkling
200g white chocolate
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease a baking tin approx 20cm square.
2. Combine the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor or with your hands until it resembles breadcrumbs. Press it into the base of the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
3. To make the caramel, melt the milk, butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until thick and golden brown. It's important to keep stirring as it can catch very easily. When thick, stir in the salt and pour it over the shortbread and chill until set (about an hour or so).
4. When the caramel is set, melt the white chocolate and pour it over the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt and
chill again until the chocolate is firm.