Friday, 8 January 2016

Cheese Shortbread With Ground Chilli Flakes

I saw a few recipes for a savoury shortbread, using cheese.  They were all just a little bit different to each other, so I came up with a mix and match version of my own, though based on one from Bruno whose video is here.  I decided to use Cheddar cheese, though almost any cheese would probably work quite well.  Then, as an added flavour I thought I would add some chilli flakes, but then decided they were slightly too large, so I ground them down into a powder.

So that would be the basic shortbread, but then with some Parmesan grated on the tops, for a different cheesy hit.

If you want perfectly formed biscuits the best way is to roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to make the shapes.  But much quicker, easier and just as tasty, is to roll the dough into a sausage and cut it, once chilled.

Now the one thing I really dont like is cooked cheese, so no cheese sauces, pizza etc for me.  The cheese, when heated takes on a much stronger flavour that I just don't.  But I have made cheese scones and cheese straws in the past, which I enjoyed, maybe as the are eaten cold.  So I thought it worth giving these shortbreads a whirl.  I know they will be enjoyed by my tasters, so even if I decided I don't like them they will be gratefully accepted.

Oh wow! I they have cooled down and I just ate three.  They are simply wonderful.  As you put one onto your tongue and close your mouth the biscuit seems to dissolve right onto the tongue giving a wonderful cheesy taste.. Then after you have swallowed it the back of your throat gets the hit of chilli and your tongue tingles slightly.  From someone who doesn't like cooked cheese that is praise indeed, even if I did bake them myself.

I think these would be ideal with a glass of wine in the evening.
Cheese Shortbread With Chilli Flakes


Cheese Shortbread With Chilli Flakes - Video
Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 60g grated cheese(I used cheddar)
  • 200g softened unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • parmesan cheese for grating
  • egg white for egg wash
Method:
  1. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer(or a food processor or by hand) beat the butter with the chilli powder and salt until it is nice and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and ground almonds and beat again until fully combined.
  4. Add half the flour and beat until combined
  5. Add the remaining flour and the grated cheese and beat for a final time until combined and clumping into a dough.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. 
  7. Form a sausage shape, about 8 inches long, with each portion of dough and wrap them in cling film.
  8. Refrigerate the dough until it is firm, so about a couple of hours. It can be left longer, of course, even overnight, or for a couple of days.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/400F.
  10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut each sausage into equally thick slices, about 3/8 of an inch(1 cm).
  11. Place them on the baking sheets leaving a space around each in case of spreading.
  12. Egg wash each slice and grate some parmesan over them.
  13. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until a nice golden colour.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. They will firm up as they cool.


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