A RECIPE: Fifth Avenue Shortbread
There is no questioning the fact that shopping in New York is great. But, I visited Saks fifth avenue yesterday- which I found to be more of a museum than a place that one would go to buy a pair of jeans. I was given a gift certificate there for Christmas- a mixed blessing if you ask me as there is very little to buy there under a couple hundred bucks (not to be ungrateful). It’s definitely not my kind of store but I worked my way round hoping that maybe there was an amazing food department hidden somewhere- like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges or even Harrods where I could blow my credit on a beautiful hunk of cheese or . But, alas, no there is no food department ( or not that I could find). Just floor after floor of expensive clothes and people spraying you perfume. I’m a cook, so I spend my life stinking of garlic with flour hand prints on my backside-I definitely don’t belong in this kind of place let alone these kind of clothes. I left empty-handed with the idea that when my more glamerous sister comes to stay she might be able to guide me through the maze of luxury that is Saks. And in the meantime, I’m going to make my favourite Millionnaires shortbread- renamed ‘Fifth Avenue Shortbread’ because I think it’s good enough to be sold at Saks.
Fifth Avenue Shortbread
This is my all-time favourite treat. The chocolate you use here is very important, so buy as expensive as you can afford. I love Green & Blacks- a mix of milk and dark is beautiful.
ps. A flour print on you backside is essential to your success in making these.
For the base:
75g/3 oz caster sugar
175g/6 oz plain flour
75g/3 oz corn flour
For the middle: ( you can double this if you like a thick caramel layer)
100g/4 oz butter
2 tbsp golden syrup or maple syrup
1/2 tin condensed milk
For the chocolate layer:
200/7 oz Green & blacks milk and/or dark chocolate
1 20cm x 30cm baking tin
1 Heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/350F. Beat the butter until soft, then beat in the sugar. Add the flour and cornflour and mix until it comes together into a ball. Line the base of the tin evenly and prick all over with a fork. Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins or until lightly golden on top. Allow to cool.
2 Once cool, melt the butter in a small saucepan, then whisk in the syrup and condensed milk until combined. Stir over a gentle heat, constantly allowing to come up to a gentle boil (do not allow to burn!) and allow to gently simmer until it thickens and turns a golden colour (this will take at least 5 minutes). Pour over the cooled base and allow to set.
3 Once the caramel has set, break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl. Place a small saucepan with 2 cm of water onto boil, once boiling, place the bowl of chocolate over the water (make sure the base of the bowl isn’t touching the water) then turn the heat off and allow the chocolate to melt slowly, stirring occasionally with a spoon. Once melted, pour over the caramel layer, spread evenly and allow to set in the fridge. Cut into squares and feel better than a million dollars as you sink your teeth in.