Billionaire’s Shortbread

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If you are hungry for a RICH dessert, why not make Billionaire’s Shortbread? (Please excuse my bad pun, ha ha.) I’m not sure why this particular recipe from Food & Wine is called Billionaire’s and not Millionaire’s shortbread. I think it might have to do with an upgrade from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, and perhaps the ever popular sea salt to add a balance to all that sweet goodness. These were a bit time consuming as you have to wait for the 3 levels to cool one at a time, but the results are very much worth it. They are sinfully delicious, and yes, rich.

slightly adapted from: Food & Wine
makes: one 8-inch square baking pan’s worth

Shortbread
1 stick ( ½ cup) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup fine cornmeal
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel

1 stick ( ½ cup) unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Ganache
9 ounces chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
flaky sea salt

For the shortbread

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 inches of overhang on two sides. In a food processor, combine the butter, flour, sugar, cornmeal and salt and pulse until a dough forms, about 2 minutes. Press the dough into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the shortbread is firm and the edges are golden; let cool completely.

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For the caramel

In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the heavy cream and salt over moderate heat; keep warm. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and 2 tablespoons water and cook over moderate heat, swirling the pan, but not stirring, until a golden caramel forms, about 7 minutes. Carefully drizzle in the warm cream and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread and let cool, 45 minutes.

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For the ganache

Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream just to a simmer. Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand until the chocolate starts to melt, 2 minutes; stir until smooth.

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Pour the ganache over the cooled caramel and spread it in even layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with desired amount of flaky sea salt and if desired, your choice of toppings (like mini marshmallows and/or crumbled pretzels) and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour.

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Lift the shortbread out using the foil flaps. Cut the shortbread into squares and serve slightly chilled.

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