With the possible exception of a chocolate brownie, nothing accompanies tea or coffee better than a crisp shortbread biscuit.
To swiftly make a batch of shortbread biscuits, you will need:
1. Begin by preheating the oven to 180°C.
2. Weigh the butter and cut into small cubes. This hastens the softening process. When softish, place it in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use an electric hand-held mixer.
Recipe: Spicy hot cross buns
3. Weigh the flour and the cornflower, taking care to stick to the recommended masses and volumes. Baking is a lot closer to science than to art, and requires some precision.
4. Select a sifter or a standard kitchen sieve and pour in the two types of flour, plus the baking powder and a pinch (¼ teaspoon) of salt. Squeeze the sifter or tap the sieve repeatedly, allowing a shower of the dry ingredients over the butter. This ensures the complete absence of lumps, which are death to perfect baking.
5. Now for the vanilla. If you have a vanilla pod, leave it in a sealed packet of castor sugar for 24 hours. Weigh the vanilla-infused castor sugar and add it to the mixing bowl. Alternatively, drizzle the vanilla essence over the castor sugar. Then run the machine at low revs, keeping a sharp eye on the process until the mixture achieves the texture of breadcrumbs.
Recipe: Parmesan dip biscuits
6. Line a rectangular baking tin with baking parchment and pour in the now granulated mixture. Press the dough flat by hand or with a spatula, ensuring an even thickness throughout. Cut shallow grooves to demarcate 16 equal sections. Prick the surface with a fork to lighten the texture.
7. Place the baking tin into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for a good 20 minutes. If it is not yet lightly browned after this, let it bake for a further five minutes,
remove it and allow to cool. You may want to sprinkle a little castor sugar over the surface at this stage.
8. When completely cool, separate along the grooves into single biscuits and serve with tea or coffee.
David Basckin is a freelance journalist and videographer.
While the 25% decline in rhino poaching incidences in South Africa between 2017 and 2018 should be cause for celebration,…
Timeous and effective government assistance for South Africa’s farmers to survive ongoing drought conditions is one of the key aspects…