Raspberry and Hazelnut Shortcake
This is a very easy and simple centre-piece that will certainly impress people, but most importantly, it tastes as good as it looks.
Ingredients: (Ounce to Gram Conversion Chart)
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Ground Ginger
3oz Butter (soften in a microwave, full-power for 10-15 seconds)
2oz Caster Sugar
4oz Plain Flour
300ml Double Cream
Fry the hazelnuts in the honey and spices in a frying pan on a medium heat until they begin to colour and then transfer to a food bag. Tie up the food bag and then bash the hazelnuts with a rolling pin to get fine crumbs (larger lumps of hazelnut within the crumbs is fine).
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with a wooden spoon by pressing the ingredients into the base of the bowl until fully combined. Sieve in the flour, holding the sieve at head-height and then stir the flour in to form crumbs. Alternatively, you can mix the flour and sugar and then rub in the butter with your hands to produce crumbs like you would for pastry (see Almond Tart).
Pre-heat the oven to 160oC (325oF, Gas Mark 3).
Stir in the crushed hazelnuts and then bring together into a dough by pressing it all together with your hands.
Split the dough into two.
Line two 18cm circular tins with just a circle of baking paper at the bottom of each, glued down with butter.
Press the two balls of dough into the tins and flatten out with your fingers to produce two circles of shortbread.
Bake in the oven for 20mins. Take the two shortbreads out of the oven and divide one of them into 8 pieces whilst still warm. You can also score both with a knife and fork to produce traditional shortbread patterns on them at this point if you want to. Allow the shortbreads to cool completely and then gently remove them from the tins.
Whisk the double cream in a glass bowl to produce whipped cream and then transfer to a piping bag.
Take the uncut shortbread round and place it on a flat surface (presentation plate/chopping board/baking sheet etc.). Pipe a ring of cream around the edge of the round and then place 19 raspberries into the cream to form a ring. Pipe concentric rings of cream in the middle to fully cover the round of shortbread.
Place the 8 pieces of cut shortbread on top in an overlapping ring. Pipe a small circle of cream at the edge of each piece and place a raspberry on top. Pipe the remaining cream in a mound in the middle and finish with a final raspberry.