Back in the day, when this blog was little more than a twinkle in my piggy eyes, I wrote a small piece on Millionaire’s Shortbread. Complaining about the lack of decent options (chocolate too measly, shortbread too soft, caramel not nearly gooey enough), I put out a frustrated plea for change.
I’ll admit it seems unlikely, but perhaps the wind blew in the right direction that day; perhaps master chocolatier Paul A. Young was listening…
At the weekend, you see, the Man and I paid a visit to his Soho shop. Once there we saw something spectacular: the Billionaire’s Salted Caramel Shortbread.
With its biscuity chocolate crumb, thick wad of salted caramel, and immaculate layer of dark Valrhona chocolate, this angelic slice seemed to have called us from afar. As I’m sure you’ll agree, it would have been rude not to take one home (and into the depths of my stomach).At £3.50 for a somewhat slender block, this is gourmet cakeage if ever I saw it. Mind you, it is for billionaires – and I’d say it makes a jolly good investment.
The base was unlike any shortbread I’ve had before – slightly more akin to the foundations of a cheesecake (and all the better for it). It was fine, crumbly and oh-so-buttery. A winner on its own. But Mr Young did not stop there. Hell no.
Instead he slathered it in what might be the most delicious seam of salted caramel I’ve had the pleasure to meet (well, aside from the M&S variety – remember my salt caramel taste test?).
If I’m honest, the thickness of the caramel alone could have probably won me over, making up as it did over half the slice. But such gooeyness… OOH. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it…
The only thing I wasn’t quite so sure about was the layer of chocolate atop it all.
I suppose it depends what you’re after really. If you want a grown-up kind of treat, then dark is the best way to go every time. It makes things seem (almost) healthy and certainly tempers the overall sweetness, arguably stopping the cake from being too sickly.
Then again, in a smallish slice like this, I think you can afford to push the boat out (especially if you’re a billionaire). With that in mind, it won’t surprise you to learn that I was ever so slightly disappointed with the slice’s bitter aftertaste. Instead I hankered for a bit of milk chocolate. OK. OK. A lot of milk chocolate is more like it.
Perhaps Mr Young will one day try this alternative out – in which case I’ll be at the front of the queue. Until that happens, however, I still have yet to taste a better chocolate caramel shortbread.
Honestly, Ogglers. Paris Hilton aside, millionaires have never looked so common.