Strawberry and orange shortbread

We’ve transformed this afternoon tea treat into a wonderful summery dessert. Orange-spiked shortbread is topped with custard, cream and fresh strawberries – it’s the perfect balance between rich and refreshing.

Only after a classic shortbread recipe? We’ve got one right here.

450g small fresh strawberries
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange, plus extra to decorate
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp orange-flavoured liqueur, such as Cointreau
150ml double cream
200ml fresh custard
For the orange shortbread

175g chilled semi-salted butter,
cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
175g plain flour, plus extra to dust
50g semolina or ground rice
Finely grated zest of 2 small oranges
50g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting

Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3. Grease a 23cm loose-bottomed fluted flan tin with butter and set aside.
Put the flour, semolina/ground rice and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and whizz briefly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and whizz again until the mixture starts to stick together in small lumps. Tip into a bowl and bring together into a ball. Knead briefly on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
Roll out into a 23cm disc, place in the flan tin and press the mixture out into the fluted edges of the tin. Flute the edges with the nail of your index finger. Score 8 wedges with a sharp knife, then prick with a fork.
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the tin from the oven. Push out the base, cut the shortbread into eight pieces, then remove from the base and onto a new baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes more until crisp.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle immediately with a little caster sugar and leave to cool on the sheet.
Hull the strawberries and slice them in half into a bowl. Stir in the orange zest, icing sugar and liqueur.
Slide the shortbread onto a flat serving plate. In a bowl, whip the cream until stiff, then gradually whisk in the custard until the mixture holds its shape. (You must whip the cream sufficiently before you start adding the custard.) Spoon the mixture into the centre of the shortbread and spread out to within 2.5cm of the outer edge. Spoon over the strawberries and grate over a little extra orange zest to decorate.
delicious. tips

Giant chocolate cookies

A recipe from the delicious. archive; we’re not quite sure why these giant chocolate cookies are dangling from a stick but we are very sure that the actual cookies taste very good.

For something similar (but not on a stick) try our giant chocolate and toffee cookie.

175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g golden caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 large free-range egg yolks
50g ground almonds
50g plain chocolate, chopped
50g white chocolate, chopped
225g self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk, for brushing

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until creamy.
Stir in the orange zest, egg yolks, almonds, plain and white chocolate and flour. Mix well, then shape into 12 equal-sized balls.
Place on a non-stick baking tray, spaced well apart, then flatten each ball. Brush with milk and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, then using a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon, make a hole in the centre of each. Return to the oven for 5-8 minutes, until set and golden.
Leave to firm up for 5 minutes then put on a wire rack and cool completely. Pack into a box or wrap in foil to take to a party.

Strawberry and vanilla shortcake

Whipped cream and fresh, juicy strawberries are sandwiched between layers of buttery shortbread to make this afternoon tea recipe. Traditionally, the top is cut into wedges and arrange on the filled, whole base, then cut right through when serving.

300g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp baking powder
100g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
60g caster sugar
1 large free-range egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp milk
For the strawberry and vanilla filling

2 punnets (about 500g) strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered depending on size
2-3 tbsp icing sugar, to taste, plus extra for dusting
½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped
284ml pot double cream
25g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Add the butter and whizz briefly until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir in the sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with 1½ tablespoons milk and add to the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the mixture starts to stick together in small clumps. If it’s a little dry, gradually add the rest of the milk until the dough comes together into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly and very gently until smooth.
Lightly roll out the dough to form a 24cm round x 1cm thick disc and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the shortcake on a wire rack, then cut horizontally into 2 rounds using a serrated knife. Store in an airtight container until ready to assemble the complete cake, or for up to 2 days.
Make the filling. Put the strawberries in a bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla seeds. Mix gently, cover and chill. In a second bowl, lightly whip the cream to soft peaks with the caster sugar.
Put the shortcake base on a plate. Spread with cream and spoon over the berries. Cover with the shortcake top, dust with icing sugar and slice.


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