It’s afternoon tea week from the 8th to 14th August and it seems to be a good excuse to make some delicious treats. I decided to make a classic – shortbread. It’s melt in your mouth and it’s buttery.
I’ve made the wedge shapes this time but you could cut them into rounds (thick and softer or thin and crispier) or could try the classic shortbread fingers.
I’ve added cornflour to create a crumbly texture and a pinch of salt to bring out the flavour but you could omit both if you wanted and you would still get lovely shortbread.
Shortbread follows the basic ratio of 3:2:1 (flour:butter:sugar). There is room to play around a little with these ratios and experiment with other flavours but I think sometimes there is beauty in simplicity. What makes these so lovely is the ease in making them; its more of a relaxing thing to do than a struggle. Sometimes a challenge isn’t always what you want when life is busy.
Makes 8 wedges
135 g unsalted butter (cubed and at room temperature)
70 g caster sugar (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
200 g plain flour
30 g cornflour
Pinch of salt
Prepare a baking tray with parchment and preheat the oven at 160°c/325°f/gas mark 3.
In a large mixing bowl use a wooden spoon to break down the butter, then add the sugar. Cream together until pale and fluffy.
In a separate bowl combine the flour, corn flour and salt then add this to the butter and sugar. Mix and it should start to come together but you will need to bring the final bits together with your hands. A rough, rather crumbly, dough should be formed.
Place the dough onto the baking tray and use your hands to press it gently into a circlur shape of an even thickness. Tidy the edges with your fingers. Use a knife to score 8 wedge shapes (first into quarters and then eighths) and use a fork to prick a couple of holes in each wedge. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in the oven for 25 -30 minutes until it is lightly golden. Using the previously made scores as guides, cut the shortbread whilst it is still hot. Allow it to cool before serving.