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.