I've never made shortbread before - how can this be? I fancied baking, but it's so warm that I didn't want to spend long in the kitchen and do anything too fancy or complicated, but still wanted to try something new....so I piled through my recipe books and plucked out Mary Berry's shortbread recipe, although am sure they're all pretty much the same?
I did ponder adding different ingredients to spice it up a bit, but then deicded to go for the basic shortbread first, get that right, and then add my own twists.
So...mixed up all the ingredients (I got the recipe from her book, but it's the same as the http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/516852)
100 g plain flour
50 g caster sugar
100 g butter
50 g semolina
blend it all together by hand, and then roll out into a round. I took a stab and just rolled it a bit and then patted the general roundness into a more speicifc roundness and was quite pleased that it came out as 7 inches - good guess!
I marked my 8 slices, and did the fork jabs and crimping and then chilled in the fridge. I didn't cover it, just left it on the baking tray. Once it was firm, I baked in the oven for about 30 mins, and then as soon as it was baked I sprinkled some more sugar on and marked the slices again.
I left it to cool for a bit, but couldn't resist having a slice myself with a cuppa. Note to self - shortbread it nicer once it's been left a while - so found it tasted much better after resting.
I tried it out on a couple of friends, one of whom is Scottish, and had nothing but compliments. Either they're being very kind, or it was quite successful! I found it a bit soft in the middle, but apparently that's good. So there we go :)
Next time, I want to try adding different things. I've heard of lavender in shortbread, but am not sure about that myself. I might try cherry and vanilla, and may be white choc and dried raspberries?
I think I need to use a sieve for sprinkling the sugar as well, as I just pinched it over, and that didn't come out looking very good.
The whole reason for making the shortbread was to use up some strawberries I'd bought, but I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, may be 2 shortbread rounds, with strawberries and cream in the middle might work. Shame the first round didn't last very long :/ I might try
Finished shortbread (with my spice rack in the background!):