I’ve been trying to write a post about something nice and Christmassy that I did at the weekend, but I’m not getting very far. This is because I am also chasing last minute bits and pieces for an event which may or may not happen tomorrow evening, as it is totally weather dependent. Meanwhile, outside the weather is taunting me with an impressive medley and I keep leaping up to take photographs. I suppose I’m only encouraging it.
So far this morning we have had high winds and heavy, heavy rain; thunder and lightning; three separate hailstorms; sleety-rainy-haily stuff and now, brilliant sunshine.
I’m expecting a rainbow and perhaps some snow by this afternoon’s school run.
The other post will follow soon enough. But in the meantime Amy left a comment asking for the chocolate shortbread recipe which I mentioned in this post – here it is, Amy, and sorry that it’s taken so long for me to get round to writing it up. It’s not mine, but from The Great British Book of Baking (the first one, as I think there might be a second one).
Ingredients: 260g plain flour; 100g caster sugar (plus a little extra for sprinkling); 40g cocoa powder; pinch of salt (not necessary, I think if you use slightly salted butter); 200g unsalted butter, chilled and diced.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 Grease a loose-based 20.5cm cake tin
Put flour, sugar, cocoa and salt into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Add the butter and rub into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine damp sand, or sandy crumbs. Tip it into a prepared tin and press into an even layer using the back of a spoon. Finally prick the dough well with a skewer or a fork, and then score into 12 sections.
Bake in the oven for around 25 mins until just firm.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more caster sugar and then, before removing it from the tin, carefully cut along into the pre-marked sections. Leave to cool before removing from tin. This might be difficult as it smells wonderful, and you may be tempted to eat it, but it is still quite crumbly at this stage, and will set firmer as it cools.