James Martin’s Billionaire’s Shortbread

James Martin More Home Comforts

When nothing but a bite of decadence will do, James Martin’s peanut butter caramel shortbreads are bound to satisfy

“It was one of my chefs’ ideas to call this billionaire’s shortbread – because millionaire’s shortbread is simply not a good enough name for this one. It certainly packs a high calorific value. It will definitely keep anyone at home happy for a few hours, as they won’t be wanting anything else.”

For the shortbread:
• 250g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
• 150g caster sugar
• 1 medium egg
• 150g cornflour
• 300g plain flour

For the topping:
• 300g caster sugar
• 175ml double cream
• 275g crunchy peanut butter
• 400g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base and sides of a 30 x 23cm traybake tin.
2 To make the shortbread, mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl with an electric whisk until softened and lightened in colour. Add the egg and whisk together, then fold in the cornflour and plain flour to form a soft dough.
3 Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very gently until smooth. Press into the base of the prepared tin, spreading it evenly into the corners. Prick all over with a fork, then place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
4 Bake for about 25 minutes until just lightly coloured and firm to the touch.
5 Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the caster sugar into a frying pan and heat gently, without stirring, until the sugar turns golden-brown and liquid. Whisk in the cream and cook until thickened and smooth, then whisk in the peanut butter – you want a thick, light golden-brown mixture.
6 Remove from the heat and leave to cool until the shortbread is out of the oven.
7 Pour the caramel over the shortbread, spreading it to the edges so there’s an even layer, then set aside to cool for at least 1 hour.
8 Put the chocolate into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water until it has melted. Pour three-quarters of the chocolate over the cooled caramel topping, tipping the tray so that it coats all the caramel.
9 Set aside at room temperature to cool for 30 minutes, then drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top. Set the tray aside until the chocolate has set – at least 1 hour.
10 Lift the shortbread out of the tin by the edge of the silicone paper, and cut into triangles to serve. 

Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from More Home Comforts. Photography by  Peter Cassidy © Quadrille Publishing.

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