It was my mum’s birthday this week and she is a sucker for a bit of Millionaire’s Shortbread (for those that don’t know, millionaires shortbread is a nice, thick bit of shortbread topped with layers of caramel and chocolate). So when I received a leaflet at the Cake and Bake show with a recipe for ‘Millionaire’s Muffins’ it seemed that fate had decided my mum’s birthday treat for me. I used the Dr Oetker ‘Millionaire’s Muffins’ recipe as a guideline and inspiration but made some changes to suit my own baking style and tastes. See below my personal recipe for Millionaires Shortbread Cupcakes!
For the cakes: 175g self-raising flour, 150g caster sugar, 150g butter, 3 eggs, 2 drops of vanilla essence
For the buttercream icing: 75g salted butter, 150g icing sugar, a splash of milk
For the chocolate cream: 75g milk chocolate, 75g dark chocolate, 175ml double cream
Plus: mini shortbread fingers for decoration and Dr Oetker’s Salted Caramel cupcake filling for the surprise centre.
- I use the same basic cake recipe for all of the cupcakes I make because it is very versatile and I have it perfected to exactly how I like it. The oven should be preheated before you start – my oven no longer has any numbers on the dial so I have to do a guestimate of what temperature it is at, I would guess that I have it on around 180 degrees.
- Start by whisking your eggs with the vanilla essence in a small bowl until combined, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and the caster sugar. Next add the softened butter and combine until at the texture of breadcrumbs – I usually do this by hand with a fork and it doesn’t take too long. Using an electric mixer (or by hand if you prefer) mix the egg mixture into your cake batter, half at a time. You need to whisk this mixture until it is light and fluffy in texture, this is what will help your cakes to rise.
- This mixture is exactly enough to divide evenly between 12 cupcake or muffin cases. I always use a cupcake tray because it keeps all of the cakes nice and rounded and also helps you to keep them at an even size. Your cakes then go in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. (The toothpick method never fails me – if a toothpick can be inserted and comes away clean then you are good to remove the cakes from the oven.)
- Once your cakes are out of the oven and set aside to cool then you can set to making your toppings. For the buttercream simply combine your butter into your sifted icing sugar until the texture of the icing is smooth and creamy. If your mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk to thin it out and reduce it to a piping consistency. I use an electric mixer at this stage to ensure that the icing is completely smooth with no lumps of butter or sugar.
- For the chocolate cream, melt the two chocolates together in a bowl set over simmering water. Ensure that the bowl is not touching the water as this could lead to the chocolate burning. Combine your melted chocolate to the cream and whisk using an electric mixer. (I found that when I set my cream aside, the chocolate cool and set it very hard, if this happens you can give it a quick 5 second blast in the microwave to loosen up the mixture again. Do not leave it in the microwave for too long or you will have chocolate gloop)
- Once your cakes have cooled enough, make small holes in the middle using a cupcake corer or a sharp, thin knife. This is a good chance to taste test your cakes, as you can eat the centres! I used Dr Oetker’s Salted Caramel Surprise Inside filling to fulfil the caramel side of the Millionaires Shortbread cupcakes. It is extremely easy and very yummy – just squeeze the filling straight into the hollow centres that you have just made (apparently it is better if the cupcakes are slightly warm).
- When you have scooped both your chocolate cream and buttercream icing into separate piping bags you can begin to decorate! – the best part, obviously. I only piped around the edge of the cake with buttercream as I didn’t want to overwhelm the already very sickly looking cupcakes. I then filled the centres with generous dollops of chocolate cream. A teeny shortbread finger (from Sainsburys) topped the cake off perfectly but for that added extra bit of glitz I used a small spritz of edible gold shimmer spray to make each one look a million dollars!