Shortbread rounds

My last blog was lemon syllabub and I did suggest you could serve it with ginger biscuits.  However this recipe for shortbread rounds is also perfect to serve with lemon syllabub.  The sweet crunch contrasts nicely with the lemon creaminess of the syllabub and complements it beautifully.  You can cut these into rounds or if you prefer fluted rounds or fingers, or whatever you prefer.

It is said that Scottish shortbread developed from medieval biscuit bread, which was a twice-baked, enriched bread roll dusted with sugar and spices and hardened into a rusk (soft, sweetened biscuit). After a time butter was substituted for yeast, and shortbread was born. Since butter was such an important ingredient, the word “shortbread” derived from shortening. Shortbread may have been made as early as the 12th Century, however its invention is often attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th Century. Petticoat tails were a traditional form of shortbread said to be enjoyed by the queen.  Originally shortbread was considered a luxury and only enjoyed during special celebrations or Christmas.

Ingredients (makes 20-24 shortbread)

125g/4oz butter
55g/2oz caster sugar, plus extra to finish
180g/6oz plain flour

Method

Heat the oven to 170C fan/190C/375F/Gas 5.

  1. Beat the butter and the sugar together until smooth.
  2. Stir in the flour to get a smooth paste. Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out until the paste is 1cm/½in thick.
  3. Cut into rounds or fingers and place onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with caster sugar and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
  5. If desired you can sprinkle a little more sugar on after they come out of the oven.
  6. Enjoy!

Tip: this recipe could come in very handy if you want to make a homemade gift.

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Lemon Syllabub

Lemon Syllabub is a classic summer dessert.  I do like refreshing desserts and syllabub seems the perfect end to a meal.  It is said that syllabub is an English dessert that dates back to Tudor times.  Certainly in the form we know it today it was very popular during the Victorian period.  I found my recipe in The best of Mrs Beeton’s Puddings & Desserts.  However, in the original recipe (was called Whipped Syllabub) the wine was not mixed in with the rest of the ingredients but just in the wine glass at the bottom. I prefer my syllabub with all ingredients blended together.  Also I use lemon juice and not orange juice.

This really is a very simple recipe to make.  It can be prepared in advance but as it only takes 10 minutes, it is fine to just whip it up between courses.  Although it is made with double cream, it is so light and the perfect dessert after a rich or spicy meal, as the lemon makes it refreshing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
Serves 4

250 ml double cream
50 ml white wine (original recipe uses red but white works better with the lemon)
50 ml brandy or sherry (I used brandy)
Juice of 1 lemon
Grated rind of 1 lemon
50 g caster sugar

Method

  1. In a bowl whip the cream, adding in the remaining ingredients gradually, in order until the mixture just holds in firm peaks.
  2. Put the mixture into chilled glasses.
  3. Serve

Note: this recipe would be very nice served with ginger biscuits.  Try these ginger cookies http://cookingwench.com/gingercookies/

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