Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Surprising Discovery and Chocolate Macadamia Shortbread

Right now I am feeling pretty stupid. For the last two or three months, I have been receiving regular comments on my blog in Chinese. As any blogger will tell you, receiving comments is one of the great things about blogging. It is incredibly gratifying when people find what you write interesting enough to give you some feedback. So I was flattered and would think to myself how nice it is that someone overseas is reading my blog, and be amazed yet again at how the Internet is making the world a smaller and smaller place. Lots of warm feelings....

And then today, I received a lengthy comment in Chinese and started to wonder what on earth my correspondent could be saying. Most comments that I receive run about a sentence or two, while this one appeared to be a lengthy paragraph. I decided to send it on to my clever sister-in-law who can read Chinese characters, who immediately responded "It's a list of adult short films, with a short description of each film. DELETE! DELETE!" So, if you can read Chinese, and thought that I was starting to act as a middleman peddling exotic services, rest assured that I will be sticking to the core business of cooking from here on. Also understand that I have now activated comment moderation, so I will be able to bin the adult services before they get posted on my blog. Apologies to anyone who has been offended in the last month or two. And here I was thinking they must be keen on mango recipes......

Now, onto something sweeter. This shortbread recipe appeared in this month's Delicious in Belinda Jeffrey's column. I really rate Belinda Jeffrey's recipes as scrumptious and achievable. I have two of her cookbooks ("100 Favourite Recipes" and "Tried and True Recipes") and have made so many brilliant things from them, that if I posted all of them I would be reproducing virtually half of each book. I noticed that one of them has recently been reprinted so if you want a recommendation for a cookbook you will keep turning to, I suggest you take a look. Or you can just accumulate her columns from Delicious!

This shortbread was made as a thank you present for a neighbour, who later phoned and asked for the recipe - always a good sign. It came out a little moister than I expected despite my decision to leave it in the oven for an additional ten or fifteen minutes. I think this may have been because it was so hot here when I was making them that my butter was half melted, instead of the firm butter envisioned by Belinda. So the final biscuit, in texture, was closer to a slice than to shortbread. But it was completely scrumptious - just the thing for me to nibble on over a cup of tea as I contemplate how daft I can be at times.

I have been cooking from Delicious all month with Melinda from Melbourne Larder in a challenge to make use of our food magazines. If you would like to join us, drop either one of us a line. Oh, and watch out for any unintelligible comments...

Chocolate Macadamia Shortbread Biscuits
from Delicious Dec 09 / Jan 10

1 1/2 cups plain flour
2/3 cup fine semolina
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup chopped roasted macadamias
60g chopped dark chocolate
300g unsalted butter at room temperature, chopped
180g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Grease and line the base and sides of a 18 x 28 cm lamington pan, leaving a 3cm overhang on all sides. Place the flour, semolina, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl and stir well to combine. Stir in macadamias and chocolate.

Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in a food processor and whiz for 1-2 mins till creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Stir butter mixture into flour mixture until well combined. The dough should be quite thick and a bit hard to mix - mine wasn't because of the very soft butter. Press the dough into a pan and prick all over with a fork. Chill for 15 mins. Preheat over to 160C. Bake shortbread for 25-30 mins until firm to the touch. While it is still hot, use a knife to score the biscuits. Cool in the pan for 10 mins, then lift out the shortbread and cut into fingers. Keeps for 5 days.


Kurdistan said...

i love this recipe cant wait to try it

Debinhawaii said...

This looks so delicious--how can you go wrong with chocolate and macadamia in shortbread.

BTW: your spammer friend has hit me a time or two as well. I didn't know what they were peddling until now but just erased them as I got them since they hit multiple posts, Frustrating!