Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hit This Shortbread Up Style!

Now playing: Carolina Chocolate Drops & Luminescent Orchestrii - Hit 'Em Up Style
via FoxyTunes

More goodness from the British baking book. Of course, I have added a little twist. This little twist adds a nutty, bitter background of flavour.

Mahlab is the seed kernal of cherry stones. Ground, it is added to baked items.
It has different spellings, names and is pronounced differently across different regions: Mahalabi, Mahaleb(i), Mahlab, Mahiepi, Marlev, St Lucie's Cherry. It is used quite often to flavour holiday treats such as at Christmas and Easter. It can also be used in custards and rice puddings. Here I thought it would enhance chocolate.

Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F, or Gas mark 4.

260 g. plain (AP) flour
100 g. caster sugar (fine grain- baker's sugar)
40 g. cocoa powder
pinch of sea salt
200 g. unsalted butter- chilled and diced
1 tsp. mahlab
Demerara sugar (Turbinado sugar) for sprinkling - Another little twist I added.

A 20.5 cm round cake tin, generously prepared with butter.

Put sifted flour and cocoa in a food processor with sugar and salt and mahlab. Pulse to just blend. Add the butter and process for 30 seconds, or until a fine sandy texture is created. Tip the dough into the prepared tin. Prick all over with a fork and make scoring marks to divide into 12 sections with a butter knife. Bake 25 minutes, until just firm.

Remove from oven and sprinkle immediately with demerara sugar. Cut the scored marks all the way through with a sharp knife. Let cool before removing from pan.

Happy Towel Day!

- Douglas Adams- 'A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy'

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