Friday, 7 January 2011

Cha com Biscoitos

Teatime is an important part of the Casa Rosada timetable. Trollied out after 18 holes of teeing-off on the local links, an afternoon of walking and twitching in the nature reserve or a blustery beach constitutional,our winter guests return to the fold looking forward to a hot brew and an artesan cake or cookie. Ottolenghi to the rescue.
In a nutshell,these cookies are made by shaping cookie mixture into long logs, rolling them in chopped pistachios and then cutting slices off them and baking them. You can always have one of these logs at hand in the freezer, ready to thaw, slice and bake. Its pure Ottolenghi genius yet again.

Pistachio shortbreads- makes about 20
I replaced the ground rice with polenta

8 cardamom pods
200g unsalted butter
25g ground rice or polenta
240g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
35g icing sugar
60g shelled pistachios
1 free range egg,lightly beaten
2tblespoons vanilla sugar

Use a pestle and mortar to crush the cardamom pods, then remove the skins and work the seeds to a fine powder. Beat together in an electric mixer, the butter, ground rice or polenta, flour salt, ground cardamom and icing sugar.Run the machine until they turn into a paste, being careful not to incorporate too much air.Turn out the dough and dusting with a little flour, roll it with your hands into a log 3-4 cm in diameter. wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. While the dough is chilling, chop the pistachios finely with a sharp knife, but not as fine as ground almonds.You should end up with some chunkier bits remaining. Scatter the pistachios on a flat tray. Brush the log with the beaten egg and roll it in the ground pistachios, applying a slight pressure. Wrap back in cling film and return to the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 150c/ gas mark 2. Remove the cling film and cut the log into slices 5mm-1cm thick. Lay them out on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, spacing hem at least 2cm apart. Dust with the vanilla sugar. bake the biscuits for roughly 20 minutes. They must not take on too much colour but should remain golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.They have a shelf life of a week.



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