I love food, and I love cooking. But for some reason, baking scares me. I think it’s the almost scientific language in which the recipes are written – the clinical measurements, the careful control of oven temperatures, the almost zealous zest for correct timings has always intimidated me.
But finally, with my first post on this new blog, I take my first shaky steps into the world of baking. After a week of buying measuring cups & spoons, baking powder, the right kind of flour and sugar and of course, butter – my first recipe is Chocolate Spiral Shortbread.
To get to this neat stack, soften 100 g butter, then mix with 150 g plain flour and 50 g caster sugar. Now here’s the trick – you gotta rub it nice and soft with your fingertips to make tiny crumbs. Now divide this into two equal parts.
In the first bowl, add 1 tbsp cocoa powder (dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water). Squeeze the crumbs until they begin to stick together and form an evenly colored dough. Do the same to the second part, but with 1 tsp vanilla essence this time round.
Now comes the fun part. Find four nonstick baking sheets (I used plastic sheets with some butter). Roll out the cocoa dough between two sheet to an approximate square. Do the same with the vanilla dough. The tricky bit is getting the two squares to be almost the same shape and size. Now peel the top sheet off both, and put the cocoa dough on top of the vanilla dough. Peel the second sheet for cocoa dough as well, and roll up the cookie dough into a long roll.
Let it rest in the fridge for for 10-15 minutes, and set your oven to preheat at 180C. Cut the roll into thick slices and bake for 10-12 minutes. You’d know when your kitchen starts smelling nice. My two end pieces didn’t come out right but the rest of it did, so I finished with 8 cookies.
Yummy….maybe baking isn’t that difficult after all!