Billionaire’s Shortbread with Almonds

Thanks to inflation, the Scottish classic ‘millionaire’s shortbread’ has moved into a new tax bracket, but the luxurious elements that comprise it – buttery shortbread, silky caramel and rich ganache – remain the same. I’ve added some toasted almonds to the caramel layer for crunch, and sprinkled the top with flaky sea salt as a foil to the sweet caramel. Not sure if this is a favorite of Elon Musk’s or Bill Gates’s, but it sure is one of mine.

Makes 16 squares


Shortbread Base:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (42 grams) rice flour
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 15 minutes

Caramel Almond Layer:

  • 3 tablespoons (44 grams) water
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (41 grams) Lyle’s Golden Syrup or light corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup (77 grams) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup (106 grams) whole or slivered blanched almonds, toasted (350˚F for 10-12 minutes) and coarsely chopped

Ganache Topping:

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet (70%) chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (174 grams) heavy cream
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling


Make the shortbread base:

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, letting two opposite ends overhang by 2 inches.
  1. Place the flours, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended. Scatter the butter cubes over the dry ingredients and pulse just until a clumpy dough starts to form, about 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and at it into an even layer, covering the bottom completely. Bake the shortbread for 23 to 26 minutes, until it is just golden around the edges. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

Make the caramel layer:

  1. Put the water in a medium saucepan and add the syrup and sugar. Cook over medium-high, swirling the pan gently every so often, until the mixture turns to a dark amber caramel. Add the butter pieces and cream and whisk gently until smooth. Gently stir in the vanilla, salt and almonds. Pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread layer and allow it to cool completely at room temperature, about 1 hour.

Make the ganache layer:

  1. Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside.
  1. Put the cream in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to stand for a minute to melt the chocolate. Gently whisk until the ganache is smooth and emulsified. Pour the warm ganache over the caramel and, using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer. Sprinkle the flaky sea salt on top and refrigerate the shortbread until the chocolate is well set, about an hour.
  1. Using the parchment paper or foil as handles, lift the shortbread square out of the pan and place it on a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares and serve slightly chilled (the caramel will get a little gooey at room temperature). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recommended Equipment:

USA Pan Bakeware Square Cake Pan, 8 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating

Cuisinart DLC-8SBCY Pro Custom 11-Cup Food Processor


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Tish Boylehttps://pastryathome.com
Tish Boyle is the Managing Editor of Pastry Arts Magazine, a food writer and cookbook author with expertise in baking, desserts and chocolate. A graduate of Smith College and La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, Tish has written several dessert and baking books including Chocolate Passion, Diner Desserts, The Good Cookie, The Cake Book and Flavorful. Co-writing credits include Payard Desserts and the Grand Finales series of books.

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