The Great British Bake Off is one of my favorite shows, inspiring new bakes, new flavors, and new techniques! Join me on my journey to bake through all the Season 8 Challenges.
Total Cooking Time: 2 hours
The Great British Bake Off is a classic show for bakers and those looking for a friendly competition. All the bakes on the show look delicious and I often want to try baking them myself! I finally got off the couch and into the kitchen to recreate some of the recipes from Bake Off! I chose to start with season eight of Bake Off as it is my favorite season and the one with some of my favorite challenges!
Week four is going to be best week, it’s caramel week!!! The signature challenge for this week is millionaire shortbread which is a British treat consisting of a shortbread biscuit base with caramel and chocolate. I decided to copy Sophie’s Millionaire Jaffa Shortbread because I think I would adore a Jaffa cake. Orange is one of my favorite flavors so a caramel, orange, chocolate treat sounds absolutely delightful.
For this post, I’m going to focus on the shortbread biscuit (or cookie for us here in America). Check out my post here for the caramel and orange ganache! I covered putting everything together in the process.
The ingredients for the shortbread include the classics of flour, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. I also used orange zest to make the Jaffa element shine through in the shortbread. One interesting ingredient that I don’t classical put in cookies is sorghum flour. I dive a little more into this in the lessons section of this post.
Making the Dough
The first step of the process is making the dough. Because this is a shortbread, I used the blitzing method to make the dough. This process uses a food processor to make the dough. I started with all of the dry ingredients: flour, sorghum flour, and sugar. Once everything is combined, I added in the wet ingredients. The butter is really going to bring the cookie together and give it structure. This is why the butter needs to be chilled because it gives the cookie the ability to bind together.
Baking and Shaping
For these shortbreads, I cooked everything in one large tray bake before cutting out shapes. So, before baking, I rolled out the shortbread dough into a large square on the baking tray. I also poked holes into dough. This step helps prevent air from getting trapped in the shortbread. I’ve found that if air gets trapped in shortbread, it rises up unevenly and kind of exploded.
I also chilled the dough before baking to help keep the structure of the shortbread while it cooks. The bake didn’t take very long and turned the shortbread a beautiful golden-brown color. I cut out the discs before letting the shortbread cool completely.
Acetate is needed to keep the very clean look that Sophie achieved. I wrapped the acetate around each shortbread disk to help hold the shape for the caramel and the ganache. Check out my post for caramel to make your own! With the caramel warmed to the right temperature, about 2 tablespoons are scooped onto the top of each shortbread disk. Then each disk is chilled to allow the caramel to set. I found that the acetate needs to be very tight, or the caramel will drop down the sides of the cookies.
Adding the Orange Ganache
The orange ganache process is very similar to the caramel. Check out my recipe for Orange Ganache as well! The orange ganache is spooned on top of the caramel and chilled. The acetate can be removed once everything has set.
The finishing touches for this dessert as a part of Sophie’s recipe is a chocolate disk that is placed on top. I decided not to do this as I thought it would add too much chocolate to the dish. The portions were already perfect, so I didn’t want to add even more chocolate flavor.
Making this dish was a lot of fun but required a lot of patience. I spent a lot of time waiting for the some to chill, cool down, or set. If you do everything perfectly, I do think this recipe takes 2 hours, but I would recommend giving it some more time because allowing everything to cool without working simultaneously will cause the recipe to take a little bit more time.
Am I ready for bake-off? I think this recipe turned out very well. This is a delicious desert that I could honestly eat any day of the week! Or all days 😉
Why Use Sorghum Flour?
Sorghum flour offers a mild, wheat like flavor and a smooth texture which makes it perfect to replace wheat flour in sweet breads or cookies. It also can be a good ingredient to use for a gluten free dish, however a binder would have to be used in this situation. I used all-purpose flour as well, so I did not need the binder for this recipe and the sorghum flour was more to add another layer of flavor within the cookies.
- 1 Cup Sorghum Flour
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ Cup Powdered Sugar
- 14 Tbsp Unsalted Butter about 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- Put sorghum flour, all-purpose flour, and granulated sugar into a food processor and pulse until well blended
- Add butter, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Blitz until the mixture forms a firm dough
- Turn out onto a lightly dusted worktop and roll out into a square, about 8mm thick.
- Transfer square onto a baking sheet, prick with a fork, and then chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a light golden brown and just firm
- Use a 6cm cutter to stamp out 9 discs. Leave to cool on baking sheet.
- Wrap each disc with acetate sheets and secure with tape.
- Pour warmed caramel into each mold (about2 tablespoons) and let chill for 20 minutes to harden the caramel. The warmed caramel should be between 95°F – 104°F
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of ganache into to mold and let set.
- Decorate each shortbread treat with a chocolate disc (as desired)