It all started back in December last year when mum bought me a tin of Fortnum & Mason Afternoon Tea for Christmas. I knew very little about Fortnum & Mason back then; just knew that they were stocked in the DJ's Food Hall in Sydney and the tea came in a very pretty tin and if anything, it was the tin that got my attention but it was ever so expensive (well not wallet breaking but still expensive for tea) that mum kindly bought it for me for Christmas. Well the afternoon tea is an absolute treat for the afternoon - delicate in flavour but just the perfect pick me up but this post isn't about tea. It's actually about the Fortnum & Mason cookbook which I subsequently picked up after I discovered the tea.
Fortnum & Mason (according to my manager) are quite big in the UK - they're a tea shop; known for the lovely hampers you can organise as gifts but they also operate restaurants/tea houses. Sounds like a place which I can spend the entire day in if you ask me! And before I sidetrack to much, their cookbook is something I've been addicted to since I bought it. The previous post I made on the cranberry and lemon scones came out of it as did this recipe for shortbread. So far so good - if you're after an afternoon tea recipe book, this is certainly one to pick up.
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Line a 17cm square tin. In a large bowl, cream together 150g softened unsalted butter with 60g caster sugar. Add in 150g sifted plain flour and 60g rice flour. Knead lightly. Press the mixture into the tin, using the back of a spoon to smooth out the surface. Use a butter knife to draw a line down the middle vertically, then mark 6 lines across horizontally to make 14 fingers. Prick each with a fork.
Bake for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and mark again. Return to the oven and continue to bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is set.
Mark into 14 fingers again. Cool in the tin for about 30 minutes, then cut into pieces and carefully ease out of the tin. Finish cooling the shortbread on a wire rack.
My shortbread turned out pretty close to the ones pictured in the book.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (well I packed mine and took it over to a friend).
This was my first time making shortbread and was pretty happy with the overall texture and taste. I'd probably make smaller fingers next time - found that I was snapping them in half to eat (and well ended up eating the whole finger anyway plus more so there's really no logic there). Very buttery and short in texture and surprisingly not too greasy; was thinking that it might be cause of the amount of butter. Quite honestly, it's hard to go wrong with this recipe - only 4 ingredients in it!