Happy & Prosperous New Year Baking! (Heston Blumenthal’s Millionaire’s Shortbread)

millionaire-shortbread2

Heston Blumenthal’s Millionaire’s shortbread

My New Year’s Eve menu consisted of:

Yeast-free squash & bean buns:
I encountered difficulties as I didn’t have a proper steamer (just a sieve over boiling water); they came out a bit glue-y. I used a soda-scone recipe (wheat flour, soy milk, baking soda & margarine) and filled them with cooked & mashed butternut squash, cannelloni beans & a dash of soy sauce.

dimsum-buns

Chestnut & mushroom wonton dumplings:
These were very yummy & simple to make! I just chopped & cooked some chestnuts, button mushrooms, garlic & chili, before filling my wonton wrappers. Unfortunately some of my parcels disintegrated whilst boiling…never mind.

Tofu, steamed pak choy, glutinous rice parcel:
Bought from the oriental supermarket.

Heston Blumenthal’s Millionaire’s shortbread:
This was the first recipe I attempted from my Fat Duck cook book that I received for Christmas from my lovely boyfriend.  It appeared to be relatively straightforward though I managed to mess it up…

After patiently leaving the shortbread dough to rest for 24hrs, I managed to carbonize it somewhat (I’m not used to electric ovens). Anyway, the middle bit was salvageable but considerably dry & crunchy.

My second mistake came when making the salted butter caramel; glucose was required but I unknowingly used the powdered variety instead of liquid. I didn’t have my candy thermometer to hand so just guessed when the caramel had reached the required temperature (big mistake as I’m no caramel expert). Unfortunately I had under-cooked it so it didn’t set.

For the chocolate layer, I simplified Blumenthal’s instructions considerably and just melted some chocolate gently in the microwave (the original recipe stated the chocolate to be sealed in a plastic bag & immersed in a water bath kept at 56C for 12 hours). Assembling was simple enough and I sparingly sprinkled some coarse sea-salt. I don’t know if you can tell from my photo but this millionaire’s shortbread is a wafer-thin version of this traditional favorite; the entire biscuit is about 1 cm thick.

Despite all my disasters, this shortbread is absolutely delicious! A simplified version of the recipe can be found here on The Times Online.

millionaire-shortbread1

Gin soaked blueberry chocolate truffles:
A couple of weeks ago I decided to make some blueberry gin. We drank the gin this weekend (which had turned a lovely shade of violet) but found the blueberries to be extremely potent! I heated up the reserved berries with some white chocolate  & cocoa powder, rolled them into truffles with a dusting of icing sugar. These were yummy, we even had them melted & spread over sourdough toast for breakfast, a great way to enter the new year!

chocolate-truffle

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One response to “Happy & Prosperous New Year Baking! (Heston Blumenthal’s Millionaire’s Shortbread)

  1. I enjoyed this New Year’s feast. The truffles were delectable and the millionaire’s shortbread was worth the effort. Well done, you’ve tackled one of the recipes from that tome.

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