Has it really been nearly a month since my last post? Rest assured that I have been baking during that time – I’ve just found it very difficult to blog recently, what with my laptop permanently being away being fixed, a busy time at work, my boyfriend returning from a tour and a rather wonderful holiday in the Lake District earlier in the week.
One of the things I made was this lovely cherry and almond shortbread, adapted from a Mary Berry recipe for cranberry and white chocolate shortbread. I only changed the flavours because, as always, I was restricted by what I had in (and I also really love cherry and almond together, as is well documented on this very blog).
The shortbread was fairly easy to make. I used ground almonds as it was all I had in, and that seemed to lend the dough a rather crumbly texture. However, it looked firmer after a stint in the fridge and then the oven.
I had a bit of trouble forming the dough into a circle on the baking tray pre-chilling, and on reflection, I probably should have used a cake tin instead to make things much easier. Learn from my mistake!
I did have to bake the shortbread for longer than the recipe said – I’m beginning to think that my oven isn’t as hot as I think it is! However, it could also be down to my penchant for not following recipes.
The shortbread did turn out beautifully, in the end – just the right texture and very moreish. It wasn’t quite as almondy as I would have liked, but a drop of almond extract and/or some flaked almonds should help with that next time!
Adapted from a recipe in the May 2014 issue of BBC Good Food magazine.
Makes 8-10 wedges
- 100g softened butter
- 100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 50g fine semolina
- 80g caster sugar, plus extra to finish
- 50g glace cherries, chopped
- 50g ground or flaked almonds
- 1 tsp almond extract
- Pre-heat the oven to Gas 2/150C/130C and grease a baking tray or round 20″ cake tin.
- Stir together the flour and semolina, then rub in the butter and almond extract with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the ground/flaked almonds, cherries and sugar. Press together to form a dough and either shape into a circle on the baking tray or press into the base of the cake tin (don’t worry if this is a bit crumbly at this point).
- Crimp the edges with a fork if you can, prick all over and score into wedges lightly. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until pale golden. Re-score the wedges, sprinkle with sugar and leave to cool before cutting into wedges.