Tummy Thursday: Tahin Caramel Shortbread

As mentioned before, our holiday plans this year is meeting in each other’s gardens, so this Sunday we went to our friends’ place (their pool is already filled and delightful) and I made some shortbread for the coffee table. Because maybe the most German food tradition is “Kaffee und Kuchen”, coffee and cake, in the afternoon.

I started out with Yotam Ottolenghi’s Oriental Millionaire’s Shortbread and adapted it for my needs.


  • 40 g icing sugar
  • 35 g cornstarch
  • 40 g sugar
  • 175 g molten but almost cooled butter
  • vanilla
  • 250 g flour
  • a pinch of salt plus some fleur de sel

Mix sugars and starch in your kitchen machine, add butter and vanilla while it’s running, turn to slow, add flour and just mix until it’s blended. That’s what I like about shortbread: it’s quick and easy.

Prepare a 20 X 20 cm baking tray (as per recipe) or use a 12″ round one as I did, heat oven to 200°C. Bake until golden brown. The original recipe said 25 Min, but mine was much thinner and baked in 10. Let cool completely.

The original recipe says to add a layer of crushed halva, but I didn’t have halva at home for the simple reason of being really allergic to peanuts, which is often a main ingredient in commercially available halva, so I simply moved on to the caramel.

  • 200 g sugar
  • 120 ml water

Boil until dark copper brown, remove from heat

  • 80 g cream
  • 100 g butter

Add to the caramel. I hope you used a pot that’s got some space because it bubbles up and splashes at this point. When it’s a nice homogenous mass, add

  • a generous spoon of tahin

Pour the slightly cooled caramel on top of your shortbread and sprinkle with some more fleur de sel.

I finally added a very thin layer of dark chocolate. Cut into pieces and enjoy. It’s really sweet but damn delicious.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved



  1. Jazzlet says

    Yum! Millionaire’s Shortbread is one of the things we’ve made in lockdown. The way our recipe suggested making caramel was to boil a can of condensed milk for a couple of hours, which works very well, although if you are nervous about boiling sealed cans you can buy preboiled caramel condensed milk. Condensed milk has sugar added to it so all you need is there in the can, the advantage of doing the boiling yourself is you can go lighter or darker thinner or thicker according to your taste/intended purpose.

  2. says

    In Germany you have to make sure to buy Russian condensed milk for that trick, since German condensed milk is really just that: milk where part of the water has been boiled off.

  3. Jazzlet says

    For reasons I don’t understand in the UK condensed milk usually has sugar added, it is also available without sugar, but unsweetened condensed milk is quite difficult to find. Readily available is evaporated milk, no sugar and only reduced to the thickness of double cream, it used to be favoured to pour on a fruit salad or pudding back when cream was more expensive, and of course required a fridge to keep fresh. It’s interesting how different countries have these little variations in the food that is easily available.

  4. avalus says

    My shortbread never gets to a stage where I could cover it with toppings of any kind. It mysteriously evaporates …

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