Monthly Archives: November 2012

Baking Disaster! – rosemary and sea salt caramel millionaires shortbread


I had family visiting for bonfire night so I decided to make Gizzi Erskine’s Rosemary and Sea Salt Caramel Millionaires Shortbread after seeing someone eulogise about it on Twitter. The recipe is online and can be found here.

I had the recipe on my iPhone and let’s just say, I was guilty of not reading it properly. Several times!

First of all I didn’t let the butter get to room temperature first so ended up putting half mixed butter, sugar and flour in the microwave part way through mixing as it wasn’t combining well. Surprisingly that worked.

I also added all of the butter listed in the recipe to the flour. I thought it was a lot at the time, but ploughed on regardless. I even put it in the tin and the oven but after 5 minutes decided it looked all wrong and pulled it out.

Of course when I re-read the recipe, a portion of the butter is for the caramel – oops! So I added a load more flour to rebalance it (yes to the warm dough!). Didn’t add any more sugar though and I must say I liked it not too sweet.

This is what it looked like after the extra flour was added (pre-cooking).


Naturally this being a day of disaster I then overcompensated on the cooking time (as it was much thicker than it should have been) and slightly overcooked it. So once it was cut into pieces I chopped off the overcooked bottom on each piece. Which had the double benefit of reducing the thickness of the shortbread and getting rid of the overcooked bits!

Then I managed to ‘catch’ the toffee on the bottom of the pan so it got dark brown bits in it. They weren’t burnt, just a bit overcooked so I carried on, remembering to stir all the time from them on. Doesn’t look too bad does it?

The green bits are the rosemary. I have to say adding rosemary to caramel is a revelation. It’s gorgeous and reduces the sweetness.

I sieved the caramel before putting it into the shortbread, and to be honest you couldn’t see (or taste) the overcooked bits.

The final part (the chocolate) I managed to do without getting anything wrong, and decided on a firework theme. I was aiming for catherine wheels. What do you think?


It tasted amazing and nobody guessed that I had almost ruined it at least three times!