Friday, 8 November 2013

Random recipes: Shortbread
Check me out, taking part in the Random Recipes challenge for the second month in a row! As there were a lot of newcomers last month (myself included), it's back to a basic challenge this month, where we basically just had to select a random recipe. I used a random number generator (cue my husband attempting to explain to me why they are actually pseudorandom number generators...) and then counted along my shelf to pick my book, and then opened it randomly on a page.

The book I got was Rosie's Pantry Baking: Perfect Cakes & Bakes. This was a gift I received for Christmas and I believe it was from Boots, and doesn't seem to be widely available on the internet. I don't own very many baking books - in fact, I think I own two - because I don't do a lot of baking. So, it is probably a good thing that this challenge has forced me to do a little more.

I was quite relieved, however, that the page I opened the book on was for Shortbread (and I didn't cheat I promise!). I had never made shortbread before, but the recipe is pretty simple and suitable for baking novices like me.

I was interested to read in the book that shortbread dates back to at least the 16th century; although according to this blog it goes back to at least the 12th century, where it stated life as 'biscuit bread'.

Here is my cooked shortbread just out of the oven:

Yeah, I went a bit crazy with the sugar on top. You guys know by now that I don't do presentation, right? Also, what you can't see is that when I pressed the dough into the tin, I didn't quite have enough to fill the tin properly, so there is a gap in the shortbread just out of shot! I suspect my tin was too big for the amount I made. Oh, well!

Also, I scored the triangles out before cooking, but clearly I didn't do them deep enough because I couldn't even really see them once it had been cooked.

The good news is that it tastes very nice and the texture is really crumbly which means I didn't overwork the dough. I did however overbake it a little. Mary and Paul would not be impressed. But my husband is happy, so who cares? :)

Slightly more appetising picture of shortbread...
According to my book the secret to making shortbread is usually one part sugar and two parts butter to three parts flour. This recipe has also taught me the difference (and that there is indeed a difference) between caster sugar and golden caster sugar.

So, a good learning experience all round. Maybe one day I'll get the hang of presentation...


  1. yes, look at you and your second entry... isn't shortbread amazing!... such a treat to make and once you've got the hang of it it is wonderful to make as a treat!... try adding chocolate!!... lovely random recipes entry, thank you?

    1. Yep, I'm really getting into the swing of this random recipes thing! I'm amazed by how simple and easy shortbread is to make. I'll definitely be making it again.

  2. I've tried to explain pseudorandom in the past and I'm not sure that I managed it. My usual explanation is that computers are machines but three bananas and an ostrich - well, it makes sense to me. Shortbread is a lovely thing and yours looks very fine to me - a lucky selection for RR. I'm still not quite sure why it's associated with tartan and bagpipes, though.