This has got to be the simplest shortbread recipe I have ever had the pleasure of making. It takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes until you can eat your heart out, they taste fantastic and freeze extremely well, what more could you ask for? I am told these are a Lebanese shortbread, not sure where the Lovers shortbread comes from.
Folks, you really must make a batch of these, we used walnuts but you can make them without anything on top, with almonds or even a little dollop of your favourite jam. I reckon these are going to become very popular. Makes 2 dozen large short bread bisciuts.
What you need
- 375g salted butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
- Walnuts, cherries or whatever you are going to top them off with.
- Lots of icing sugar to sprinkle on top
- Heat your oven to 190 Celsius.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and then pop it into the microwave for about 30 seconds or so. You want it to be soft enough to beat with an electric beater.
- Add the icing sugar and beat it very well on high for about 5 minutes until it becomes very pale and creamy, almost white.
- No toss in the flour and baking powder in 3 portions mixing after each addition.
- Thats it, now all you need to do is form little balls of the mixture, roll them gently in your hand (yes round balls), place them on your baking sheet, press a little hole in the top with your finger and fill the hole with a nut, a lttle jam or even a piece of chocolate.
- Pop them in the oven for about 7-10 minutes and then turn off the oven and leave them inside for another 15-20 minutes.
- If you notice some of them browning on top you can open the oven to let out some of the heat and close it up again. We made batches that were very pale that melt in your mouth and also had some browned ones that were more like biscuits with a bit of a crunch that I must confess I enjoyed even more.
- Remove them from the oven and allow to cool before covering with a generous amount of icing sugar.
Black Cherry Tiramisu
This is a non alcoholic Tiramisu that worked so well the friends and family were groaning at the table, taking “just one more little piece”. It really is very simple and the only thing you need to be a little careful with is not turning the egg yolks into scrambled eggs but I have a fool proof method for that which will make sure your Black Cherry Tiramisu is perfect every time. You wil;l need a 30cm round pie dish or similar (makes enough for 10 people)
What you need
- 1 x 200g packet lady fingers (Bonomi is the brand I used from Picknpay)
- 2 x tins black cherries in syrup (pitted)
- 3 x tablespoons caster sugar
- 6 x egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 500g Mascarpone cheese (or 250g mascarpone and 250ml fresh cream beaten stiff)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Open the tins of black cherries and add the syrup to a pot on a medium heat. Add the caster sugar and stir until the caster sugar is completely dissolved then remove and allow to cool while you make the mascarpone mixture. (if you want an alcoholic version, add 2 tots of cherry liqueur now.
Follow these steps for the mascarpone exactly to ensure your egg yolks don’t scramble
- Put a small pot of water onto the stove and bring to the boil, remove it.
- In a glass mixing bowl add the egg yolks and caster sugar and beat to combine. Now place the bowl over the hot water in the pot and continue to beat until the mixture turns a pale yellow (more white than yellow). It will thicken and when you lift the beaters it should leave a light trail along the top (about 3 minutes of beating)
- Remove from the pot of hot water and beat for another 2 minutes until it has cooled a little.
- In another bowl combine the mascarpone and vanilla essence (or if you like it a bit lighter like I do the mascarpone and beaten fresh cream and vanilla essence) Mix until smooth with no lumps.
- Add the egg yolk and sugar mixture to the mascarpone mixture and fold together until well combines and smooth.
- Dip the lady fingers one at a time in the cherry sauce and line the base of your pie dish with ladyfingers.
- Add a layer of the creamy mixture and half of the cherries (halve them for a complete layer) and then sprinkle over a little cinnamon.
- Repeat the process one more time ending with a layer of black cherries over the top.
- Chill in the fridge for about 4-6 hours (this can be made the day before.
Folks, this is seriously delicious, the cherry flavor seems to fool you into thinking it’s not so rich and every mouthful is so tasty you will be hard pressed to stop before you are groaning.