Several Kinds of Chocolate Shortbread (sort of)
Robin, “Oven cloths and things to take out of hot ovens with them” post, on August 30, 2009
This has its origin in Rosie’s All Butter Fresh Cream Sugar Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book, which has graced these virtual pages before. But I don’t think this particular recipe has. The original is called Brownie Shortbread and has only one kind of chocolate in it. Really. That’s not No Holds Barred.
1 ½ c all-purpose flour
¼ c sugar
12 T slightly salted butter (this is also a short three-quarters of a 250g block of butter)
1 c shaved, grated or fine-chopped dark, good-quality-eating chocolate. You can use chocolate chips but it’s nowhere near as satisfactory. And full-size chips are too big, and the shortbread won’t hold together properly.
Mix flour and sugar and then mush in the butter, which should be about half-soft. You want it workable but not gooey. I usually do it with a spoon but you can use a food processor. Stir in the chocolate evenly. Pat on the bottom of a 13 x 9” baking pan, or equivalent. You may conceivably want to grease it lightly first, but this has so much butter in it already I never bother. Bake 350°F about 20 minutes, till it looks almost done: faintly gold but not quite dry. Cool. The original recipe says ‘place in refrig for 15 min to cool completely’. Put an oven hot pan in your refrigerator? Are you nuts? It doesn’t have to be dead cold, but it’s true it needs to be a little cooler than it’s going to get if you make the topping right away. So go do the dishes or the dusting or read a chapter in a wonderful fantasy novel or something and come back.
4 ounces dark, good-quality-eating chocolate
8 T slightly salted butter
2 large eggs at room temp
¼ c sugar
1 tsp baking powder.
Melt chocolate and butter over very low heat (or a bain marie). Cool enough not to curdle the eggs. Beat eggs, sugar, flour and bp together till fluffy. The bp will make it fizz, so don’t stop too soon: you want it thoroughly mixed. Then add chocolate and beat like mad. A whisk is best.
Spread over your barely-warm base. Bake till the top rises and forms a thin crust, about 20 minutes. The centre will still look faintly damp. You don’t want it quite dry but you don’t want it positively squidgy either: a toothpick in the middle will come out tacky, but the edges should be pulling away from the pan slightly. It will probably fall slightly as it cools. (It doesn’t always.) Cool completely before you try and cut it.
At this point, because I am of unsound mind, I like to melt a little more of your good-quality-eating dark chocolate and drizzle it over the top. I usually use plain chocolate for the two bottom layers and then something else for the drizzle: orange is good. Or mint. This is now a good time to put it in the refrigerator till it’s cold enough to cut neatly.