Monday, 14 January 2013

My introduction to baking - Chocolate Chip Shortbread!

Don't be too shocked, but last week was the first time I've actually attempted to try my hand at baking. Before that, I hadn't even used an oven for about 2 years. I've been meaning to try it for ages, and this Christmas present from Edwina (read Edwina's food blog here) gave me the encouragement I needed:

I decided to start with something simple - Chocolate Chip Shortbread! If you're new to baking, this is a really easy recipe to start with, and it tastes amazing too. Here are the ingredients:

250g unsalted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
250g plain flour
125g cornflour
50g chunky chocolate chips

And here are the instructions!

- Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / Gas Mark 3
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (if you're doing this with your hands, I advise you to take your rings off... I didn't, and took me ages to clean them!
- Sift the flour and cornflour on to the butter and mix until you have a smooth dough
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough and knead in until it's evenly distributed
- Roll out a sheet of clingfilm, tip the dough on to it, then form the dough into a fat sausage. Wrap it up tightly, and leave to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Here's my (not totally rounded) dough:

- After an hour, remove the roll of dough from the clingfilm and slice into rounds. 
- Place the rounds on baking trays lined with baking paper, and bake for about 30 minutes until they are pale golden
- Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool! Here is the finished result:

Simples. I did find that the chocolate chips were quite hard and not particularly chocolatey, so next time I won't be using them as plain shortbread will be just as good. As you can see, the biscuits aren't totally round, but I didn't mind as I like my shortbread to be a bit rugged and rustic!

So there you have it, my first baking adventure. Keep an eye on my blog to see what I tried next...

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