Cardamon and White Chocolate Shortbread

Ever since I accidentally left a friend mentally scarred by the huge clumps of cardamon in one of my earlier baking experiments, me and cardamon have had a rocky relationship. Whilst I love the flavour the contents of this weird little pod has, too much can leave you with the feeling you’ve wrongly bitten into a handful of pot pourri. These biscuits, however, have got the balance right for me and are the absolute perfect treat for with a nice cup of tea.

Ingredients

makes approximately 15

200g plain flour

175g butter

85g icing sugar

splash of milk

1 or 1 and a half level tablespoons of cardamon pods

150g white chocolate


1. Line two baking trays with baking parchment so you are ready to go. Preheat the oven to 180•C.

2. Grind the cardamon pods in a pestle and mortar until the dark, powdery seeds are released. Fish out the pod-shells as you do not want these going into your biscuits. The reason I say one to one and a half tablespoon’s worth of pods is because everybody likes a different strength of cardamon hit. I went for one and a half spoons of cardamon and the biscuits were a hit with my friends (and me) so I think this is a fairly safe amount.

3. Cream the butter and sifted icing sugar together in a large mixing bowl. The butter should be soft and smooth. Add the cardamon and continue to cream the the butter. Adding the cardamon at this stage helps to evenly incorporate the flavour.

4.Add the flour a bit at a time continuing to beat vigourously. The mix should come together into a shaggy, biscuit dough. Add a splash of milk, approximately the amount you would put in a cup of tea, to bring the biscuits together. With your hands, knead the dough into a ball and leave to chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

5. Roll out the biscuit dough on a lightly floured surface until about 6mm in thickness. Stamp out biscuits using a cookie cutter of choice. Re-roll the scraps and repeat.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes. The oven may need turning down to 150•C if the biscuits start to brown too quickly so keep an eye on them.

7. Leave to cool.

8. Chop 150g of white chocolate into small chunks, then melt in a bowl suspended over a pan of boiling water. Don’t melt the chocolate directly in a pan as white chocolate can easily burn and go clumpy.

9. Spoon white chocolate onto the flat side of each biscuit and swirl until covering the whole surface in a thick coating.

10. Eat once the chocolate has set.

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