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 really taste of summer.
|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:|
|1½ level tablespoons golden caster sugar|
|For the confectioners’ custard:|
|1 level tablespoon custard powder|
|1 level tablespoon golden caster sugar|
|3 large egg yolks|
|200ml crème fraiche|
|2 teaspoons vanilla extract|
|100ml double cream, whipped|
|300g raspberries (reserve 18 to decorate)|
|a dusting of icing sugar|
|Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4|
|Need help with conversions?|
|Two large baking trays with non-stick liners, and a 9cm round pastry cutter|
This recipe is from Delia's Cakes
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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This will always be the very best shortbread I’ve tasted. The secret of its success is the inclusion of semolina, which gives it that special texture. I will always be indebted to my friend John Tovey, who gave me the recipe
I just couldn’t stop eating these when we tested them, so for me this is another reason to look forward to the Christmas season. They are great at any time, but would be especially good for a celebratory breakfast on Christmas morning.
I think these twice-baked, very crisp biscuits are great for children to make and eat. After that, the adults in true Italian fashion sit down with a glass of chilled Vin Santo, and dip them into it before each bite.
After the football cakes we felt we needed a very girly alternative – and these really fit the bill. The cakes are pretty and delicate. Inside each is a hidden strawberry to bite into...
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