Is it just me or is anyone else ever a little disappointed by their friends sometimes?
50z plain (all-purpose) flour
- Sift the four, salt and rice flour/ground rice into a bowl.
- Add the sugar and grate in the butter straight from the fridge. Or add the butter, diced.
- Using the tips of your fingers rub the fat into the dried ingredients until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Press the mixture into a 7-inch straight sided sandwich tin (I actually used the aforementioned brownie pan). Because of the butter content you shouldn't need to grease/line your tin. Don't worry if the mixture needs a little force to push it together - that's normal.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge for an hour or so. Once the shortbread is chilled you can decorate the top and mark out the portions so it's easier to break when cooked. Traditionally, the shortbread would be cut into short bread "tails" (triangles) with patterns provided by a fork.
- Put into a preheated oven (3o0 degrees) for about an hour or until the shortbread is pale straw coloured. Allow the baked shortbread to cool on a wire rack and then break into pieces.
- I decided to go a little Jackson Pollock with my biscuits (apologies to the thousands of Scots who are now turning in their graves) and drizzled melted plain chocolate across the top. If you want to be authentic, you should dredge the completed biscuits with caster sugar.
I also made Orangette's sumptuous 'Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake'. Moist, rich and dense, I can assure you that it is absolutely as good as it sounds and with only 1 tablespoon of flour is pretty much health food. Next time I would like to try the recipe using orange-flavoured dark chocolate and a slug of Cointreau.
So, I left the office with a full tummy and a renewed faith in the power of female friendships. And, as if the cakes hadn't been enough, a dazzling new addition for my kitchen:
A big hurrah to new friends!
* Apologies, I can't find out how to do the "e "with an accent on blogger. Any tips gratefully received.