Monday, May 3, 2010

Chocolate Shortbread Recipe


A good shortbread depends on the quality of unsalted butter. So it is important to use the best unsalted butter you can afford. Unsalted is much prefered because the salt in "salted" butter can overpower its sweet flavor and can also mask any odors the butter may have absorbed in storage. Another key for better shortbread is good vanilla extract. It adds a strong pleasant flavor to the shortbreads. A pure vanilla extract is the best to use than the synthetic vanilla as it leaves a bitter aftertaste. The cocoa powder used in this recipe which gives the natural chocolate color and taste of the shortbread, is the regular unsweetend Dutch cocoa powder. The brand and type of cocoa powder greatly influence the flavor of the shortbread. The chocolate shortbread can be stored in a container at room temperature for several days.

Yield: 12-16 shortbread wedges.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Shortbreads:

  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Glaze:

  • 3 ounces (90 grams) semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) lightly salted or unsalted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Procedure:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8-9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom.
  3. In a large clean bowl, sift or whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. Using the KitchenAid stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until smooth (about 2 - 3 minutes). Click for KitchenAid beating technique.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and egg yolk. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add the flour cocoa mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and beat just until a dough forms. Do not OVERMIX.
  7. Press the shortbread dough in an even layer onto the bottom of the tart pan.
  8. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, or just until the shortbread no longer looks wet and is firm to the touch. Place the rack in the center of the oven for even baking.
  9. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack for cooling. Pour the prepared glaze on the top of the shortbread.
Procedure for the Glaze:
  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
  2. Immediately upon removing the shortbread from the oven, pour the warm chocolate glaze over the shortbread
  3. Spread evenly the glaze using a spatula or back of spoon.
  4. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and press them gently into the glaze so that it will not fall off from the shortbread when one takes a bite.
  5. Let the chocolate shortbread cool completely then cut into 12-16 wedges.

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