Shortbread

ShortbreadTo my mind, of all the sweet treats my mother made when I was young, shortbread always seemed the most luxurious and perhaps surprisingly, the most “exotic”. Set against the kaleidoscope of Malaysian desserts that I grew up with, shortbread seemed the epitome of Western refinement – something the lords and ladies of Windsor would perhaps nibble on, whilst sipping on their Earl Grey at teatime. In a childhood saturated with deep-fried bananas and glutinous purple layer-cakes, there was something about the buttery simplicity of shortbread that echoed a colonial restraint that appealed to my early sense of identity. That my mother made very good shortbread, made me feel different; it, in part, made me feel just a wee bit more British.

The secret to my mother’s shortbread is, however, an altogether un-British Asian ingredient: rice flour. This elevates the shortbread to another level; giving it an amazing texture and makes for an even crisper biscuit bite.

For more Sweet Treats from The Muddled Pantry, please click here

Note: Try to use rice flour sourced from an Asian supplier rather than from a health shop as the former seems to be finer and gives a better finish.

Shortbread: Makes 20

120g plain flour
60g rice flour
60g castor sugar
120g butter, diced

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius
  2. Sift both flours together
  3. Combine all the ingredients into a cake-mixer bowl
  4. Using a dough-hook, start the mixer on a slow setting until the butter begins to break up
  5. Increase the speed and continue until the mixture has bound together and forms a dough
  6. Roll the mixture out on a floured surface to a thickness of 10mm
  7. Using a small cookie-cutter, cut into shapes
  8. Place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment
  9. Prick each biscuit 3 times with a fork
  10. Bake in the centre of the oven for between 40 to 50 minutes
  11. Towards the end of the baking time, check the bottom of the shortbread: if the bottoms have started to go light brown, they are done
  12. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with white sugar
  13. Cool completely on a wire cake rack before storing in an airtight container
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s