Category Archives: Chocolate

Eat Me (or, How One Woman Overcomes her Racial Handicap and Prepares Damn Tasty Food from Around the World)

Strictly for High Rollers – Millionaire’s Shortbread
by Clare Nisbet

Shortbread crumbs mixed and ready for pressing The perfect Scottish trifecta - shortbread, caramel, chocolate

It’s a gloomy Monday morning at the downtown headquarters of OSB and the fact that it is a holiday inspired me to write about some serious Scottish dessert – Millionaire’s Shortbread. Besides, the baseball card series is getting old for me and it’s time to inject some good, old-fashioned variety back into this blog. I hope the NWTVS and Ace follow shortly. In my next blog I will take a much needed departure from dessert and Scotland but in the spirit of dusting off the cobwebs at OSB headquarters I am going to stick with what I know and love for one more week. Besides, is it just me or is it enough with the baseball cards already?!

Millionaire’s Shortbread is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s actually likely to push those weak of heart over the cardiac arrest edge. It is a traditional Scottish treat that I used to love as a child – likely contributing to both my chub and my janky teeth. I recently made it for a bunch of Americans at our annual Festivus celebration as a sort of sociological experiment and they couldn’t get enough. It’s true that most Scottish food is based on a “survival of the fittest” mentality and ideal for only those blessed with an iron gut. That being said, if you are tough enough – these are some of the best mouthfuls you’ll ever experience.

This shortbread is a perfect combination of traditional shortbread, homemade caramel, and chocolate. It’s also a great dessert because it’s got a couple of tricky elements that are good for practicing. You can perfect your shortbread and caramel techniques and your patience in the kitchen and what results is to-die-for good.

Here are the three stages for perfect Millionaire’s Shortbread. The best tip I can give you is patience – make sure that the recipe is cooled completely after each layer is completed.

Shortbread

6oz butter6oz granulated sugar
8oz plain flour
2 oz corn flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat over to 350. Grease and flour a 12 inch baking tin (the deeper, the better). Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, corn flour, and baking powder. Gradually beat this into the butter and sugar mixture until you have beautiful shortbread crumbs (see photo for example). Spread the mixture into the baking tin and press to create shortbread (with clean fingers is the most old school, and most effective method). Bake shortbread for 20 minutes and cool completely while you prepare the caramel.

Caramel

6oz sugar
6 oz butter
I can (15 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbs golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients except the vanilla into a saucepaul. Over very low heat stir until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved (this can take several minutes – just hum and stir, hum and stir). Then bring mixture to a gentle boil and boil for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Take the mixture of the heat, let cool for 1 minute then stir in the vanilla. Stir final mixture for 2 more minutes and then pour over the shortbread. Place this in the refrigerator until caramel hardens completely.

Chocolate

All you need is your favorite chocolate. In the spirit of Scotland I use Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and Dark Chocolate.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. A touch of butter gives the chocolate a beautiful sheen. Pour it over caramel when it is completely hardened. When the three-layered goodness is completely cooled, cut into squares and enjoy. Guaranteed mad props.

Man’s drastic new attempt to help girlfriend quit smoking seems to be working

Paul Rivas has now kept his girlfriend’s mouth full of empanadas and chocolate for 48 hours.

One Sorry Blog News Service

Half of the 1-2 punch Rivas hopes will help Nisbet quit smoking

Buenos Aires – In his most drastic attempt to date to help his girlfriend quit smoking, Paul Rivas has now kept her mouth full of empanadas and/or chocolate for 48 straight hours. Rivas initiated the empanada-chocolate program Sunday evening, or approximately 12 hours after Clare Nisbet had promised she would quit smoking.

“There she was, puffing away, playing online poker on both AOL and Facebook, making sure her show was downloading on XTorrent and watching two more shows on television,” recalled Rivas, ” when I thought, ‘Wait a tick, something’s not right here,’ and then I remembered that she swore on Jack Bauer’s life that she would quit smoking that morning. That’s when I suggested we call and have some empanadas delivered.”

Despite being thrown for a loop that Rivas would volunteer to use the telephone to order empanadas, the tasty turnover-ish Argentine snacks that Nisbet has dubbed a ‘super-food’, Nisbet did not suspect Rivas was in fact trying to trick her into not smoking, starting then and there.

With her mouth still full at present, Nisbet has been unable to speak on the Rivas empanada-chocolate method of quitting smoking, but she send this news service the following email, presumably composed between poker hands and during a commercial break:

“Our phone plan requires dialing six digits before the local phone number, which itself has eight digits. Paul hates the phone anyway, and when faced with dialing 14 digits and making a telephone order or just walking the ten blocks to my new favorite empanada place and back, he’d usually rather walk. I should have known. But I’ve got to say, this isn’t a bad program he’s got me on, and I know he’s only doing it because he loves me and wants to live a long life with me.”

Critics of the empanada-chocolate program maintain that feeding one’s girlfriend for 48 hours is cruel and unusual, if not torturous, a concern at which its backers have scoffed, reiterating that empanadas and chocolate are the smoker in question’s two favorite foods.

Furthermore, Rivas would like to remind readers that milder, more accepted methods employed by Nisbet had proven fruitless. She had often instructed her father to hide her cigarettes and give her one at the end of the day, only to end up sneaking around to find where he’d hidden them and smoke three or four at a single go. She had also tried the patch, but found the fear of death by nicotine poisoning to be scant discouragement from smoking with the patch on.

Rivas does admit that his program has required Nisbet to consume “otherwise unhealthy” amounts of Mamá Flora empanadas and Cadbury’s chocolate bars, but maintains that, “a few extra kilos are a small price to pay, health-wise, for all that lung power she’s going to have at her disposal in about a week.”

Rivas hastened to add that he does not anticipate needing to keep Nisbet on the program for the entire week.

“Another 24 hours and she’ll be over the hump, good to go, listo, whatever you want to call it,” Rivas nodded, pumping his fist in solidarity with the chewing Nisbet.