I baked some delicate clementine shortbread with a hint of warming cardamom and drizzled with chocolate to warm up the Football Mothers who diligently and proudly stand in all weathers every weekend to watch their sons. It’s cold already as I sit here and I can’t feel my feet, my fingers are slow at typing, nose is occasionally dripping on the keyboard. This is before I go to the windy, sub-zero micro climate of the football field where shivering is obligatory and all sense of fashion is replaced by anything thermal and woollen.
cardamom and clementine? Don’t worry the cardamom is there to boost the clementine flavour and gives a warming dimension which is delicate and not overpowering. These just melt in your mouth leaving a warm burst of citrus as an after taste.
The football testers enjoyed the shortbread out on the cold windy pitch and scarves were ceremoniously pulled down from mouths for a few minutes. Apparently cardamom is very good for men said Mum1 with a raised eyebrow.
The original recipe is adapted from Nigella Lawson here
100g icing sugar
200g plain flour
200g very soft unsalted butter
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
Zest of two clementines
6 cardamom pods
Dark chocolate for drizzling (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
2. Add the icing sugar, plain flour and cornflour into the bowl of a food processor and give it a quick run to ensure there are no large lumps
3. Add the butter and vanilla seeds to the mixture (keep the pod to your make own vanilla sugar or vanilla essence)
4. Mix again until the mixture begins to form into a clump or ball ( a few minutes do not overmix). Tip the mixture into the a greased tin and level with a spoon or palette knife.
5. Cut the shortbread into slices to make fingers and prick each finger three times with a fork.
6. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The shortbread should be pale and perhaps a little golden around the edges.
7. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before the fingers as they will have tried to merge back together. Leave shortbread in the tin to cool before removing as they are very crumbly and need to firm in my experience.
8. Drizzle with melted chocolate and scatter grated zest on top for decoration.