Friday, 8 January 2010
The quiet before the storm or Shortbreads in 2 ways.
The past two and a half years have been a kind of break between studying History of Art and working out what I really want to do with my life. This may sound like an existential question a lot of us have been asking ourselves at some point in our life. The good news is that I have found my way. The bad - not as bad as it sounds- is that it is going to be a little more difficult than expected. Not surprising really.
The question I have been asking myself so many times was: "what do you really like and want to do"(in fact I was more like, think, think think!!!). And finally, I found the answer "Food, eating, cooking and running my own business". The greatest news is that I can combine some, if not all of them into one project. The idea is yet a secret and will be revealed later on (once I am sure it is possible). "Don't try to run before knowing how to walk" said my maman. I guess she was right.
So to get where I want to be I have to go back to "school". And you know what, I am really excited about it; a Master in Culinary Arts. Yep, sounds exactly like what I need. It promises to be hard and rewarding and in two years my project should come to life. I am positive.
In the meantime, before things become to hectic I can't resist the call of my new kitchen. Afternoon baking is a real therapy.
The quiet before the storm or Shortbreads in 2 ways: vanilla and hazelnut.
(Note you will have to leave the dough to rest for 1 hour or overnight)
What you'll need to make the shortbread:
Makes 25 to 28 shortbreads
100g of caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
200g of unsalted butter, softened
300g of plain flour, sifted
1 pinch of salt
50 of ground hazelnuts
1/2 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
In a bowl or food processor, mix together the butter and sugar until lightly creamed. Once done, add the sieved flour and salt and mix until the preparation crumbles.
Now divide the mix in two equal portions.
In the first one, add the ground hazelnuts. Mix everything to a soft long dough (your shortbreads once cut will take the shape of a circle). Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for a minimun of an hour.
To de-seed the vanilla pod, use a sharp knife and scrap the vanilla pod lengthways. Add the seeds to the second half of the mixture and as above mix everything to a soft dough. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for a minimum of an hour.
After an hour or more, take both dough out of the fridge and cut them lengthway. You should get around 25 to 28 circles each roughly 1cm thick. Place them on a greased baking tray 2 to 3cm apart from each other.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC or gas mark 3.
Sprinkle with some sugar and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
The final step: bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Once cooked, leave them to stand for an other 10 minutes and then ENJOY with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
Inspired by Delicious. Magazine, Vanilla Shortbreads.