Funny things happen in the kitchen when the timing is right or the stars are aligned. In preparation for this month's "Hay Hay It's Donna Day", I spent a lot of time at the library reading her books and getting to know her easy going cooking focusing on fresh ingredients and no fuss methods. I made a few copies, took some books home and one evening my eyes settled on her Millionaire Shortbread in Gourmandises (yes, the library had 3 of her books in French thanks to Mr. Martinet, the expat head librarian). From that sunny thursday afternoon until last night I could not stop thinking about it. Seriously, after lemon this one was my biggest craving of the weekend. Finally this morning I broke down and made this before heading out to the gym....I know I am evil...!
I decided to make these in mini muffin tins instead of a square pan. I love anything mini and small enough to take one or two bites out of without feeling like I am a glutton...even if I end up eating 6 of them. I was taking them to a dinner party and thought they would be great as a little bite with coffee. They turned out to be as everybite as wonderful as pictured and described in the book. The size was perfect to enjoy them without being hit on the head by a spoon full of sugar.
Millionaire Shortbread Mini Pies, adapted from Donna Hay:
For the shortbread crust:
150g all purpose flour / 1.5 cups
100g brown sugar / 0.5cup
125g butter, melted / 1 stick plus 1 Tb
Mix the flour, sugar and melted butter. Spoon (or use your fingertips) the mixture into the bottom of the mini muffin tins. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 F. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
130 gr. golden syrup / 1.5 cups (I used grade B maple syrup)
125 gr butter / 1 stick plus 1 Tb.
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 0z)
Combine the golden syrup, butter and condensed milkin a large saucepan and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens and takes on a golden color. Remove from the heat, let cool for a minute and divide among the tart shells. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
185 gr dark chocolate / 6.5 oz
1 Tb. vegetable oil
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on top of a double boiler. Add the oil and mix well to combine. Spoon some over each tart shells and allow to set in the fridge.
Verdict: I doubled up on the quantities to make sure I had some for us and the girls at work tomorrow and I am glad I did. These disappeared while the host was pouring coffee. I am looking forward to making them again.