Thursday, 15 March 2012

Shortbread - but not as you know it!

Finally, the sun is breaking through the mist and clouds. After another hour the clouds should be breaking and the light increasing dramatically.

I've been busy this morning making frugal laundry liquid and experimenting with my shortbread. I inherited the original recipe from my mother in law and it is lovely in flavour and texture, very crisp.

I had wondered though, like you do, if using some custard powder in it would result in custard flavoured shortbread.

Using half the normal recipe here it is:

Beat together 4 oz room temperature butter with 2 oz sugar. When well blended mix in gradually, 4 oz plain flour sieved with 2 oz custard powder (not ready mixed custard that just needs water!). The normal recipe uses cornflour not custard powder.

Knead lightly to bring together then put into a round and greased Victoria sponge cake tin. Mark into 8 segments, prick with a fork and bake at 160 Celsius for 40 – 45 minutes. I would recommend checking at 35 minutes in case your oven runs hotter than mine. Remove from the oven, re-cut and prick the segments and dust lightly with sugar if you wish. LEAVE in the tin to go cold before removing.

The full normal recipe is 8 oz butter, 4 oz sugar, 8 oz plain flour sieved with 4 oz cornflour. This amount is enough to fill a Swiss roll tin. You can then mark it into 16 fingers or 32 squares.

Well, as you can see from the photograph it is certainly very yellow and had a slight smell and taste of custard. Next time around, I will try replacing all the cornflour with custard powder and see what that is like. 

By the way, in the full recipe, you can remove 1 oz plain flour and exchange it for 1 oz cocoa (not drinking chocolate). You can also make two batches from the full recipe, leave one as it is and make the other chocolate then press lumps of different colours into the Swiss roll tin so you get a multi-flavoured shortbread. The possibilities of flavour and colour are endless.

After a mug of milky coffee and a slice of this, we went back out into the garden to finish sieving soil. 

Do you tinker with any of your recipes? 

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