Shortbread with Scottish tablet.

Yesterday seemed to whiz by. After dropping the little one at nursery, going to the gym, coming home, having lunch, painting my old dressing table, picking the little one up, making dinner, eating dinner, clearing up and waxing the dressing table it was 7pm and I suddenly realised I didn’t have anything to serve to our Life Group, which started at 8pm. Needing only three ingredients, I immediately thought of shortbread and set to work. Here’s the basic recipe and method (I hope you can read my writing):

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As the butter and sugar were creaming in the mixer, my eyes fell on a jar of Scottish tablet I’d made for DH as a birthday present back in January. His Nanna used to make it for him as a child, and ever since we married twelve years ago I’ve been trying to replicate her recipe with little success. On this occasion I’d tried this version on the Carnation website, but I think I’d boiled it a little too long and it was slightly too hard and crumbly.

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I wondered what it would be like in the shortbread, so crushed a few pieces up with a rolling pin and threw them in the mixer with the flour. Obviously the dough needed a little helping coming together because of the addition of the delicious golden nuggets, so I just tipped it out onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and gently pressed it together with my hands. Not even having time to cut out individual biscuits, I rolled the dough into a rough round and scored it with a knife to mark out slices that would easily break apart once baked. Had I had time I would have chilled it for twenty minutes at this point, but as our guests were arriving in less than half an hour I decided to just bung it in the oven and hope for the best.

25 minutes later it looked golden around the edges, so I took it out and lifted the huge shortbread round, still on the greaseproof paper, onto a wire rack. Re-mark the segments at this point if you need to.

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After cooling I snapped it into pieces and served. It was delicious. More cookie like than regular shortbread as a result of the extra sugar, but still delicious. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

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Pink Ombre birthday cake

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Which three year old little girl wouldn’t love this cake?… Pink, pink, pink, oh and sweeties! Perfect!

Once you’ve made your usual Vicky Sponge cake batter, weigh it and then divide by four so you will end up with four equal layers after baking. My batter weighed a total of 800g so I knew each layer needed 200g of batter. Then I added a tiny amount of pink colour paste into the mixture before taking out 200g for the first layer. After the first layer was in its tin I added more of the colour to the original mixture before spooning out another 200g for the second layer. Put these two layers in the oven for about 12 minutes.

Once they’re done, flip the cakes onto a cooling wrack and re-grease the tins ready for the third and fourth layer. Add some more colour to the batter before taking out another 200g for the third layer and then add a bit more colour to the remaining batter before transferring to the tin. Bake the third and fourth layer as the first two, for about 12 mins. Flip them out once cooked and leave to cool before decorating.

I made some white buttercream for in between the layers and then just decorated simply with pink icing and pink sweets. Lovely.

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All ready for the birthday girl

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Ombre layers.

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Pretty

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Went down well with the birthday girl!