Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Millionaire's Shortbread and an Ode to Blogging
As I was taking the time out of a busy day to prepare this blog today, it dawned on me how much time I've spent on this site for the past four or so years. There are so many blogs on the internet these days that it can sometime seem like the virtual world is over-saturated and then some. It seems so easy log on to Blogger or Wordpress and start your very own little publication sphere. I think in a way, this has undermined how much dedication it takes to consistently run a blog. For my part, I know that sometimes, no matter how much I love interacting with readers and how much I love sharing my passion for food, I really have to pull through to get a blog post up. As Chocolate Shavings has steadily grown, I sometimes find myself being too much of a perfectionist. There are so many dishes that don't make it on to this blog because I feel like I haven't gotten my recipe exactly where I want it or because I feel like the photos I just took of a dish do not do it justice. There have definitely been countless, countless times where food had been brought to the table at room temperature because I wanted to take the very best shot I could.
All this is to say that sometimes it's easy to take a blog for granted - to quickly browse through a couple pages of a blog, maybe bookmark a recipe or just glance over recent content. I've done it, and I'm sure you have too. The term 'blogging' often gets a bad reputation as well. There is a sense that anybody could be a blogger, that anybody can jot down their thoughts of the day and quickly press 'publish' for the world to see. But being a dedicated, regular blogger really does take time It's often like running your own mini magazine, alone and to offer the content free of charge for all to enjoy. My goal with this post is really just to give fellow bloggers a real pat on the back. The realm of blogging was just a hobby when I started during college and has, in many ways, help me jump-start my career. It's what made me want to go to culinary school, what gave me the continued dedication to write on a regular basis and what got me my first commercial photography job. I owe a lot to the blogging world, and this is my small way of giving back.
So why not indulge with a slice of Millionaire's shortbread?
Adapted from Claire Robinson
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for preparing pans
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for preparing pans
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) square nonstick pans and coat with flour, tapping off excess. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles peas. Press the shortbread mixture into prepared pans and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of butter. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Continue stirring over the heat until mixture becomes thick and amber in color, about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread and spread evenly using an offset spatula. Cool to room temperature.
In a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Once chocolate has melted, pour it over the cooled caramel layer. Cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, allowing chocolate to slightly harden but not get hard. Cut into 2-inch squares and enjoy, or store in an airtight container, at room temperature, or my favorite - keep in the refrigerator for a yummy sweet and cool treat!