Saturday, 11 September 2010

Back to Baking

I've really enjoyed the focus on fish in my recent posts and still have the sardines from my delivery to eat - they're in the freezer at the moment.  My thoughts now turn to some more home baking. 

Last night I made a Victoria sponge using Holly Grove bramble jam instead of the more traditional raspberry or strawberry jam.  The bramble jam was made from hedgerow blackberries growing in the lanes around Holly Grove - very satisfying to make something so delicious from free fruit!

The cake makes a lovely light, sweet offering with a cup of tea or coffee as an afternoon treat or served with cream or ice cream as a light pudding.  Good use of the larder full of homemade jam!

Today I've adapted a recipe for shortbread biscuits to incorporate some essence of orange flower water that I bought on impulse a few days ago.  These, like the sponge, make a lovely accompaniment to afternoon tea or morning coffee or with some stewed fruit and ice cream make a quick dessert. 

Orangish Shortbread Biscuits
Makes about 35
325g plain flour
200g chilled unsalted butter, diced
125g caster sugar
2 tsp essence of orange flower water
2 egg yolks
icing sugar, for dusting

Set the oven to 180C.  Put the flour and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Add the sugar, orange flower water and the eggs and mix to a smooth dough.

Roll the dough into a long sausage shape, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.  Cut the dough into 5mm thick slices and arrange them on the baking sheets spacing them slightly apart.  bake for about 20 minutes until pale golden in colour.  Place biscuits onto a wire to cool and then dust with icing sugar. 

Note: The 'orangish' in the recipe title is because the biscuits didn't taste very orangey, perhaps next time I'll add some grated orange zest?  Despite that the biscuits were crisp and lovely with my latte.

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