In an attempt to make a batch of shortbread biscuits more exciting, I stumbled onto this beautiful combination of flavours.
I’ve always been a big chocolate and orange fan, and my initial intention was to make plain biscuits with a chocolate and orange ganache. A little bit of tweaking and a lot of Eric Bibb music later, I discovered a much better way of achieving what I wanted – making the biscuits themselves the ‘orange’ component.
In my preparations for Christmas last year, I had excitedly made up a batch of orange extract, alongside my usual vanilla one. However, it has since sat relatively unused in my cupboard, and as I searched for a slightly stronger way of adding flavour to the shortbread than adding a teaspoon of the juice of an orange, I excitedly pulled this forgotten treasure from my baking cupboard, deeming it “perfect”.
And oh, it was.
It adds a kick to the biscuits that ordinary orange juice does not, and goes beautifully with the vanilla and chocolate flavours. Don’t overdo it, at risk of overwhelming every other flavour, but a little makes the recipe sing like the birds outside my kitchen window.
Anyway, I am keeping you from going and making this. I mean it. Go and make it. Right now. You won’t regret it. And in case you’re not convinced yet, here is another photo:
Orange & Vanilla Shortbread with Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from this basic shortbread recipe.
Makes 20-24 shortbread
125g butter, softened
50g unrefined sugar
180g plain, all-purpose flour
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp orange extract (you can find this in supermarkets, but I like to make my own)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (again, I like to make my own)
For the ganache:
75g dark chocolate
Knob of butter
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
2. Place butter and sugar in a mixer, and blend until smooth.
3. Add flour to the mixer and blend until combined, adding in the extracts and zest for the last few pulses (you may need to add a drop of milk to help the mixture come together).
4. Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll out to 1cm/1/2in thick. Slice into desired shapes and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar if you are not adding the ganache, then chill in the fridge for about 20 mins.
5. Bake in the oven for 15 mins or until golden brown at the edges. Set aside to cool.
6. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter together in a pan. When the biscuits have cooled down, dip them in the ganache and place them back on a wire rack to let them set.
Recipe cards coming soon! 🙂