Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Back to basics: baking the classics

Vanilla shortbread


Last year my Mother-in-Law very kindly gave me some awesome old school recipe books - within the pile was this old Be-Ro book which contains the simplest and most classic bakes I've ever seen!

Now, like most bakers I have a TON of baking books that I rarely glance at. This doesn't mean I love them any less (Nigella has her own shelf) but once you have mastered certain recipes, your baking books tend to become cake porn which only gets glanced at when you're in the mood.

But these books were different. They weren't high end glossy books full of beautifully decorated cakes and the recipes didn't require at least 10 items that I can only find in Sainsbury's - huzzah!
Be-Ro recipe book - only £1.50 from the website!
So whilst I'm busy making 'pretty wedding cakes' over the Summer I've decided to indulge in a few easy bakes that are made purely for indulging my sweet tooth and feeding the kids over the holidays.

My 1st bake? Vanilla shortbread of course! I've never made shortbread before and if I knew it was this easy I would have made it before. I did add some vanilla bean paste to heighten the flavour but aside from that I didn't change a thing and I managed to bake the most amazingly crumbly and yummy shortbread I have ever eaten. RESULT.

I've listed the recipe below along with my substitutions.

Shortbread just out of the oven
Oooh, crumbly-vanillary goodness
I had some leftover Dairy Milk (WTF??) so I melted it and dipped in half of my shortbread...
...and then this happened - SPRINKLES!!! And the world was at peace.
Recipe taken from 40th Edition Be-Ro Flour Home Recipes booklet:

  • 250g Be-Ro plain flour
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • 175g Butter (I used unsalted)

Method
1. Heat over to 160c and grease a baking tray (I used greaseproof paper)
2. Mix flour and sugar in a bowl and rub in butter. Knead well to form a smooth paste. In warm weather chill shortbread before putting into the oven to prevent dough spreading.
3. Flour surface, flatten dough and cut into shapes around 1cm thick.
4. Mark shortbread with fork and bake for 25-30mins or until pale and golden.

I also sprinkled mine with caster sugar before it went into the oven to give it slight crunch. I also dipped some shortbread fingers into melted chocolate and sprinkles - yummy!

I didn't realise these would be best stored in an airtight container so mine were a bit soft the day later so take heed and put them in a decent cookie jar. Happy baking!

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