Burns Night is a celebration of the poet responsible for such classic literary hits as A Red Red Rose, and Address to a Haggis. If youâ€™re Scottish, like my husband, itâ€™s an unmissable opportunity to drink whisky and say things like â€œOchâ€ – i.e., a day much like any other, really.
Since itâ€™s probably not a great idea to attempt to smuggle haggis across the US border, our American celebrations rely heavily on stews, mostly featuring neaps and tatties â€“ turnips and potatoes to the rest of us â€“ and most importantly of all, Granny Hannahâ€™s Toffee Cake / Millionaireâ€™s shortbread.
You are going to want to eat this.
Shortbread cookie base, sticky toffee filling, smooth chocolate topping.
This recipe, written by Jonâ€™s Grandma in the back of an old book, is something of a family treasure. So in October, for Jonâ€™s Mumâ€™s Significant Birthday Celebrations, we had it printed onto a tea towel for her â€“ we got her other things as well, we didnâ€™t just give her a tea towel for her birthday, donâ€™t judge us.
Anyway, it turned out that the tea towel was such a hit that she had more copies printed from the delightful Spoonflower for all the brothers this Christmas (there’s a great tutorial on the Spoonflower blogÂ – stuff like this is why Pinterest was invented). Iâ€™ve been drying my dishes on Granny Hannahâ€™s Shortbread recipe for weeks. The anticipation is building.
Millionaireâ€™s Shortbread â€“ Granny Hannahâ€™s recipe
The shortbread:2/3 cup of sugar 2 sticks of cold butter cut into cubes 2 cups of flour pinch of salt A tin about the size of a brownie tin â€“ though I make mine in an old pyrex pie dish Â
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Rub the butter and the flour together until they resemble sandy breadcrumbs, then rub in the sugar and salt, or putÂ everythingÂ in the processor and pulse
- Butter the tin, then press in the mixture (it should be about 1cm deep)
- Prick it all over with a fork, then bake for half an hour until it is golden and firm
Toffee:2 tbsp butter 2 tins of sweetened condensed milk (14oz each) Â
- Melt the butter in a pan
- Add the condensed milk and bring to a boil
- Cook for 10 – 15 mins total until the mixture is smooth and caramel colored
- Pour over shortbread and allow to cool
Chocolate:100g (or more) of 70% cocoa chocolate Â
- Melt the chocolate (in a bowl over simmering water or in the microwave)
- Let it cool for five minutes, then pour it over the toffee layer and smooth with a spatula
- Let the chocolate cool and harden before slicing and serving (about half an hour in the fridge)