Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Baking with 'Baby' 14 - Silvana's Super Shortbread


Once upon a time it seemed such a simple pleasure. I used to love the shortbread that came in tartan tins at Christmas! The pictures on the front were always a tad twee, but the contents were what truly mattered to me!

Shortbread that is dairy free and gluten free and tastes convincing - well that's a bit more tricky to come by!

This shortbread does it for me!

I've tried a number of substitutes, but that buttery flavour is pretty hard to replicate and most gluten free shortbreads are very fine and crumbly - due to all that rice flour! My favourite susbstitutes for shortbread, until now, have been Asda's Free From Shortbread and Sunstart's Supreme Golden Crunch (the latter not claiming to be shortbread at all, but tastes more like it to me than the shortbread by the same firm)!

Anyone for Asda's?

I've tried making straight substitutions with Dove's gluten free flour and Pure sunflower margarine, but that just didn't cut it for me!

However, I finally hit on a recipe that does it for me when I came across this recipe from Silvana's Kitchen. Apologies for those who can't have almonds, because this recipe requires them!  Eggs are listed as an ingredient, but as they're only used for brushing over the top for a golden finish, you could easily leave this step out, if you can't have eggs (and in fact I always do, because I'm just too lazy!

Silvana's recipe also uses 'cups' for measurement. This is fine by me, as I love using these to cook too! I love the fact that it's a simple measure and being more visual, I think it makes it easier for 'Baby' to understand - rather than loads of digits on a scale.

Lovely visual way of measuring, especially with these!

If you're not used to cooking with cups, the thing to remember is these aren't your average teacup or mug, they are an actual specific unit of measure, that you need to buy from a shop, OR you can use this simple conversion chart instead, and carry on using your kitchen scales!! If you do use cups, then make sure you level them off properly, for accuracy (see why here, if you don't believe me)!!

The next thing you need to know is that the margarine I used was Pure sunflower margarine and the flour was Dove's gluten free flour. 'Confectioner's sugar' (just in case you're wondering) is good old icing sugar.

The only other translation you may need, is that Silvana cooks her shortbread at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, my oven works in degrees Celsius, which roughly works out at 160 - 165 degrees. Gas would be mark 3.

Now when your shortbread comes out of the oven, it will hopefully look somewhat like this (mine are a bit thicker than Silvana's):

Not quite perfect, but near enough!

You can of course eat them as they are... and we do!

But sometimes, it's fun just to bling them up a bit, like this (all 'Baby's' own work):

Fun for 'Baby'

OR, if you want a more grown-up finish, you could always melt some dairy free chocolate, dip your shortbread and leave it to harden... or you could just dip it in the chocolate and eat it anyway! 

Well, why not?

I would! 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

Baking Dairy Free

Further baking adventures with 'Baby' can be found by following this link.

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