I love shortbread. It's more than just a little cookie, a wee biscuit, it's tradition, history and culture. I always imagine I should be able to speak with an adorable Highland accent after eating a few. That somehow my inner Lassi comes out at the first sign of butter, sugar and wheat. But then again, maybe it's a good thing that never happens. You know the old joke: The Italian Mafia gives you an offer you can't refuse. The Scottish Mafia gives you and offer you can't understand.
Jokes aside, making perfect shortbread is no laughing matter. Recently I tried a new recipe. I followed every step with calm accuracy, not leaving anything to chance. And yet, the whole thing was a disaster. Everything was fine up until the baking stage. Through the oven window I helplessly watched as my bonny shortbread transformed into oozing lava. It lost it's shape completely and simply melted.
F...it! I removed the tray from the oven dumped it all into a mixing bowl. Then I added 1 cup of oats (staying true to the Scottish theme here) and poured the whole thing into a new baking pan.
After it was done baking I covered with melted chocolate and nuts. And the result? It was a taste sensation, truly remarkable. Crunchy, not too sweet, chocolaty and divine. Ha! Who would would have guessed that?
This is what's so fun about playing in the kitchen, being able to make treasures from disasters.
You can skip the disaster bit and go straight for the treasure.
Chocolate-Oat Cake200 g butter
1 cup white sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon salt.
100 g dark or milk chocolate
50 g butter
Roasted hazel or walnuts.
Melt butter over low heat, add sugar, flour, oats and salt. Pour this super simple batter into a 10x10 baking tin and bake for at 325°C 25-30 minutes. Basically until the edges are starting to get a nice golden colouring.
Remove from the oven, but don't turn the oven off. Roast the nuts while you melt the butter and chocolate. As usual, melt over low heat and don't stir too often. When all melted, pour it over the cake while it's still in the pan. Chop up the nuts and sprinkle over. You can lightly press the nuts into the frosting, then they stay put after the chocolate cools and hardens.
This miracle of a cake will be ready to eat and serve in 30 minutes. It's even better the next day, if it lasts that long.