Some things in life are just there. They have been and always will be. The stalwarts that defy time. To me, one such thing is Shortbread. It exists, on supermarket shelves, adorning the chintz plates in village tea shops and forming the basis of high flouted Michelin starred desserts. But nothing, and I mean nothing beats a thick wedge of sugared shortbread, dense to the brim with pure buttery goodness. The kind that leaves your face covered in sugar in a doughnut-esque style.
And short, so short you could reform a whole new piece from the crumbs on your lap.
There is something incessantly pure about Jasmine. To me, it smells White. Floral and as delicate as the tots of feathers that fall from a richly plumed bird. Their subtle waft reels of glamour and expense, the Princess of flowers. So what better a match than sweet, crumbly, buttery shortbread. Fat is a flavour vehicle and it carries the delicate perfume of the Jasmine Perfectly. A subtle hint of lemon just cuts that fat at that sweet spot just before it becomes cloying.
Yes, you need to make these.....
230g Unsalted Butter, softened
150g Golden Caster Sugar
230g Plain Flour
70g Rice Flour
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Jasmine Flowers, dried
1 tsp Lemon Extract
100g White Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven 160C. Grease and line an 8” brownie tin with baking paper. Set aside in the fridge.
2. Cream the butter and 100g of sugar together in a stand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon extract and jasmine and beat in.
3. Sift the flours together with the salt and add to the butter. Mix until only just mixed, undermixing is better than overmixing here.
4. Add in the white chocolate and combine until just homogenous.
5. Transfer to your prepared tin, dampen your hands and pat down to level off. Sprinkle with 25g of the remaining sugar and bake for 35-40 minutes or until light golden on top.
6. Remove from the oven and immediately score into 8 bars. Allow to cool completely.
7. Sprinkle with the remaining 25g sugar and finish the cuts. Serve the bars with cups of jasmine tea and a sunny garden.