This was such a lovely lesson. David had never baked before and it was something that he'd always wanted to learn. After a life changing event he realised that there was no time like the present. He wanted to learn to make a cake with real wow factor. I thought that a chocolate and vanilla marble cake would be prefect. We spent a lovely afternoon together and he couldn't believe how quickly he got the hang of it. He had literally never attempted to bake anything before not event cupcakes or cookies. You can imagine how delighted he was by the end results once he'd finished off the cake with piped buttercream swirls. The finishing touch was an edible rice paper leopard print butterfly and gold sprinkles. When he got home his wife could not believe that he made the cake from scratch.
We had our lovely new neighbours around for supper last night. It's only taken us a year to get round to it! We had a wonderful time where the conversation flowed effortlessly and before we knew what had happened it was 1am! Not the best time to go to bed when you have toddlers to get up with in the morning. My mum was here and was not only great company but also effortlessly took on some of the cooking which was a huge help. We had sliced lamb with hummus, Greek salad, sweet potato and my mums crisply, sliced potatoes and garlic broccoli. I wanted to make dessert but didn't want to spend ages baking (busman's holiday!) As we had summer berries and Greek Yoghurt in the fridge I decided to quickly knock up some light crumbly shortbread type biscuits to elevate a simple assembly job into something dinner party worthy. I really should have put a lot of the unbaked biscuits in the fridge because I ended up eating rather a lot of the left-overs the next day....
So here's the recipe:
450g/ 1lb plain flour
165g/5 1/2oz icing sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
*1 egg white
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper. Mix the flour and icing sugar together and rub in the butter. Once the mixture begins to come together add the vanilla essence. Lightly knead the dough then roll into four x 4cm wide logs. wrap them in cling film and place in the freezer to firm up of an hour or so )If you are in a rush try 10 mins in the freezer). If you don't want to make too many you can store some of the logs in the freezer for up to 3 months. Preheat the oven to 190 C/ 375 f/ Gas mark 5. Brush each log with the egg white and then roll in the sugar. Cut into 6mm/1/4 inch thick slices. Place the cookie slices on the sheets and bake for 8-10 mins. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve with mixed berries and yoghurt, mousse or syllabub. Or simply a cup of tea!
*If you are vegan or intolerant to eggs you can leave this out and just sprinkle the sugar onto the biscuits. Vegans can also swap the butter for soya margarine.