Hazelnut Shortbreads with Raspberries

You can obviously use strawberries or indeed any summer berry mixture with these. They are extremely light, melt-in-the-mouth, and although they are a summer recipes you could serve  them on Burns Night or Hogmanay.

Serves 6

This recipe is from Delia's Cakes

Hazelnut Shortbreads with Raspberries
 85g blanched hazelnuts, toasted
 110g block butter, softened
 50g golden icing sugar
 110g plain flour, sifted
 50g rice flour or ground rice, sifted
For the raspberry puree:
 175g raspberries
 1½ level tablespoons golden caster sugar
For the confectioners’ custard:
 1 level tablespoon custard powder
 1 level tablespoon golden caster sugar
 100ml milk
 3 large egg yolks
 200ml crème fraiche
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 100ml double cream, whipped
To serve:
 300g raspberries (reserve 18 to decorate)
 a dusting of icing sugar
 Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4
Two large baking trays with non-stick liners, and a 9cm round pastry cutter


First of all, when the oven is pre-heated you need to roast the hazelnuts – just spread them out on a tray and pop them into the oven near the centre for 8 minutes – use a timer to help you remember.

Leave the nuts to cool then grind them finely using a mini-chopper or processor.

Now, in a mixing bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar together until light and fluffy, then gradually work in the sifted flours, followed by the ground hazelnuts, bringing the mixture together into a stiff ball.

Place the dough in a polythene bag and leave in the fridge to rest for 1 hour.

After that, roll it out to a thickness of 3–4mm, stamp out as many rounds as you can by placing the cutter on the pastry and giving it a sharp tap, then simply lift the cutter and the piece will drop out.

Re-roll any trimmings to cut out more (to make a total of 12).

Now arrange the biscuits on the baking trays and lightly prick each one with a fork. Bake one tray at a time near the centre of the oven for 10–12 minutes.

Leave on the baking trays to cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the shortbreads are cooling, purée the raspberries with the sugar in a mini-chopper or processor and pass through a nylon sieve to remove the seeds, then place in a bowl, cover and chill till needed.

For the custard filling: place the custard powder and sugar in a bowl and mix to a smooth paste with the milk and egg yolks. Then heat the crème fraiche in a saucepan and when it begins to bubble, pour it in to join the custard mixture.

Whisk everything together, then return it to the saucepan and, still whisking, bring it up to a simmer. When it begins to boil it becomes thick, so remove it from the heat, add the vanilla extract, then pour it into a bowl to cool.

When the custard is cold, fold it into the whipped cream. Cover and chill till needed.

Just before serving, spread equal quantities of the custard-cream mixture over 6 of the biscuits, then arrange the raspberries on top, not forgetting to reserve 18. Spoon equal quantities of the purée over, then sandwich by lightly placing the other shortbreads on top.

Finally, sprinkle with a dusting of icing sugar and top with the remaining raspberries.

Note: while everything can be prepared well in advance, it’s important not to assemble the shortbreads until just before serving.

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