This recipe is from volume 3 of the Good Housekeeping Cooking Compendium (Waverly, 1955), Picture Cake Making from the Small Fancy Cakes section, which also, completely unpredictably, includes macaroons, several variations of profiteroles and these.
2 oz castor sugar
½ – 1tsp ground ginger
1oz chopped crystallised ginger
Put dry ingredients into a bowl and rub in fat until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add chopped ginger, knead mixture until smooth and then pack into a sandwich tin. Crimp edges, mark top into triangles and prick with a fork. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) until golden and firm – about 1 hour. Do not remove from tin till cool.
- This recipe uses a very large amount of butter, which started melting as the dough was coming together and made it seem almost pastry-like.
- 1oz didn’t seem to be very much ginger – I chopped it into pieces the size of long rice grains
- After baking, the triangles I had marked had almost vanished, so while it was still warm, I re-scored them with a knife.
Although the worst sin of shortbread is that it is dry and hard, I can’t help think there might be a little too much butter in this recipe. The shortbread are very creamy-tasting which doesn’t quite blend with the citrus notes in the ginger. Really, however, I’m quibbling. This had an amazing texture and perhaps if I had added a little less ground ginger (I went for the maximum teaspoon), the flavour might have been more mellow. I would make again but add some warmer notes to the flavour – like vanilla extract or dark chocolate chips.
Shorted by Elly