Monday, 20 February 2012

AlphaBakes: Lavender Shortbread


My second entry to this month's AlphaBakes are these lovely, crumbly lavender shortbread.  I wanted to make something from my new book Tea with Bea as I have recently discovered Bea's of Bloomsbury and keep going back for amazing cake! I used to work near a branch but never made it there and now when I work miles away I make a special trip for cake. Ah the irony :)  If you live in London or are visiting London, I would highly recommend having afternoon tea there. My favourites from what I have tried so far are the scones, salted caramel cupcake, peanut butter cheesecake and the homemade marshmallow (coming from someone who does not like marhsmallows). 

AlphaBakes is a new blogging challenge hosted this month by me and on alternate months by Caroline from Caroline Makes.  The idea is to bake with a random letter selected for the month. It can be the name of a bake or the actual ingredient of your bake. This month we are baking with "L" and L is for ... Lavender! I was quite excited as I've never baked with lavender before. I bought a bottle specially for this challenge but I'm sure I'll be using it again. It's quite a subtle flavour in this bake but everyone enjoyed it. I was told by my Scottish colleague that I can sell these shortbread in Scotland so I think they passed the taste test :) 



 I got this from Fortnum & Mason

 adding lavender to the sugar

 beating into the butter 


 perfect with a cup of tea :) 

Recipe from Tea with Bea
70g caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender  (I used 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
350g butter, softened
350g flour

  • Preheat the oven to 145C. 
  • Using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the sugars, salt and lavender buds for a few minutes until the sugar smell of lavender. 
  • Beat in the butter until light and fluffy as shown in the picture. 
  • Finally fold in the flour. 
  • Pour the mixture into a square baking pan and level the top.
  • Sprinkle liberally with caster sugar on top. 
  • Bake for 40-55 minutes until the top is golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. 
  • Cut into squares and store in an air tight container. 



28 comments:

  1. I have never made anything with edible lavender. I will have to look for it!

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    1. It's my first time and it won't be the last. I'm going to make a jar of lavender sugar and I want to find some lavender essence next.

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  2. I've never made anything with lavender and I must admit the thought is a bit intimidating. Because I'm not even sure what it tastes like. I admire your bravery in taking on this ingredient - and with such success...

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    1. I always associate lavender with soaps and pot pourri! I love trying new things and experimenting with new flavours. I think a lavender and lemon cupcake would work well too....

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  3. I must admit I've never baked with lavender either although I received some lavender chocolates for christmas which unfortunately I thought tasted like soap :( Your shortbread looks so lusciously buttery and crumbly that I'd be more than willing to give it a second chance.

    An odd question Ros but do you remember what size of eggs you used when you baked the Edd Kimber Raspberry Ripple cake a few months ago? I'm thinking about baking it for a birthday this week and the recipe only specifies a size for the eggs in the frosting, not the sponge. Since your sponge looked lovely I thought I'd ask you!

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    1. The lavender in this shortbread was very subtle. Some people didn't even notice! It was very pleasant and I'd definitely make it again.
      I used normal eggs for the raspberry ripple cake - they are not sized as I get them from the local butcher. ps Make sure you keep whipping the frosting even if it separates, just keep whipping :) It was a really lovely cake, look forward to seeing yours :)

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  4. What an enticing recipe, Ros. Lavender as an ingredient in baking always intrigues me. I have experienced Lavender Ice Cream and Pound Cake but never Shortbread. I'm saving this recipe for sure!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

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    1. ooh lavender ice cream sounds nice. Thanks for stopping by... always nice to see you :)

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  5. I have never baked with lavender before, I would be interested to see how it taste. Your shortbread looks delicious.

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    1. The lavender flavour was very subtle but lovely. When I was baking it the lavender sugar smelt really good :)

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  6. oooh they look so good!... I love baking with lavender as it gives off a gentle pungentness that is quite wicked I think!

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    1. it really does and I'm thinking what to make next with my little stash of lavender :)

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  7. Now I need to get some lavender - they look wonderful, I bet the taste is just amazing. I vaguely remember having lavender shortbread somewhere before, or maybe I'm thinking of something else. In any case, I had some sort of lavender biscuit and it was delicious!

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    1. I'm glad you liked the lavender biscuit, you'll definitely like these shortbread! :)

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  8. Yum! I love baking with lavender. These shortbread look delicious.

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    1. thanks, I'm definitely baking with lavender again.

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  9. Oh these look divine, really buttery and crumbly and delicious. Love shortbread. Haven't yet made lavender shortbread, but have made a lavender chocolate cake and Nigella's lavender cupcakes - both good.

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    1. lavender chocolate cake sounds good!! I'm thinking lemon and lavender cupcakes next.

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  10. I'm not always convinced about lavender in food but I have really enjoyed lavender shortbread in the past and yours look really good. I'm still slightly shocked to come across someone who doesn't like marshmallows, though.

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    1. LOL theres a lot I don't like! My friend once told me that she would slap me if I started another sentence with "I don't like... " I did however enjoy these and will definitely make them again.

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  11. --This is what the Angels savor.

    Lovely. absoutely devine.

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  12. Oh lavender sounds interesting, would love to give this recipe a try sometime! And I've read a lot about Bea's. Will definitely pay a visit next time I pop over to London!

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    1. Do give Bea's a try and let me know what you think :)

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  13. lavendar short bread sounds wonderful :)

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  14. Hey Ros :) These look so nice~ I've never baked with lavendar but I love how it smells ~ I'm gonna do some baking tomorrow! I need to join this event!!! Have an amazing time :D

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    1. I cant wait to see what you make for us!! You should try baking with lavender - I'm a new convert :)

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