Millionaire’s shortbread recipe

James Martin’s millionaire’s shortbread recipe will become a staple.

Telly chef James Martin explains where this millionaire’s shortbread recipe comes from: “For this recipe I have to thank Kj, the head chef and owner of the Mountain Café in Aviemore. Kirsten Gilmore is a long way from her native New Zealand but now has a reputation for food, service and kick-ass coffee (in her own words!) with an amazing view of the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.

“You have to order the fish chowder and the sweetcorn fritters and, without a doubt, the best millionaire’s shortbread I have ever tasted. She kindly gave me her recipe, so here it is for you.”

Millionaire’s shortbread recipe from James Martin’s Islands To Highlands

(Makes 12)

For the biscuit base:
300g salted butter, softened
200g dark soft brown sugar
350g plain flour
125g cornflour

For the caramel filling:
1 x 397g jar dulce de leche
250g salted butter
150g caster sugar

For the topping:
400g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
100g salted butter

Millionaire’s Shortbread from James Martin’s Islands To Highlands (Quadrille/Peter Cassidy/PA)


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan)/325°F/gas 3.

2. To make the biscuit base, put the butter, sugar and both types of flour into a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the other ingredients until the mixture looks really crumbly. Press the mixture into a 23 x 30cm loose-bottomed cake tin (no need to line) and use a palette knife to even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool in the tin on a wire rack.

3. To make the caramel filling, combine the dulce de leche, butter and sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Whisking the mixture, bring to the boil (be careful as the mixture will be extremely hot).

4. Pour evenly over the biscuit base, cover and leave to set for at least four hours or overnight at room temperature.

5. To make the topping, put the chocolate and butter into a medium heavy-based pan and gently heat. Once everything has melted, whisk to combine. Cool slightly, then pour over the caramel and level with a palette knife. Cover, then leave to set overnight at room temperature.

6. Cut into 12 squares to serve.

James Martin’s Islands To Highlands by James Martin, photography by Peter Cassidy, is published by Quadrille, priced £25. Available now.