Friday, 9 May 2008

Mick used to love coffee, then he started drinking Earl Grey tea

J-M aka Mick, a frequent contributing editor, a selfless volunteer to my experimental recipes and my dearest close friend passed away 6 weeks ago. His departure was unexpected making it that little harder to come to terms with, but then again, I don't suppose there are easier means of confronting the loss of someone close to heart be it expected or not.

The following posts will be dedicated to Mick - a medley of foods, some inspired by the flavours he loved, some enjoyed in his company and some I just wish we had a chance to enjoy together.

I begin with shortbread imbued with the subtle citrus notes of Earl Grey tea, the brew of choice after Mick decided to give up his coffee. To finish and to sweeten these biscuits just a touch, I drizzled melted white chocolate after cutting them to size.

Earl Grey tea shortbread
220g unsalted butter
1 tsp fine salt
70g icing sugar, sifted
300g plain flour
4 Twinings Earl Grey tea bags
(makes 1 rectangular tart pan)
Preheat oven to 160C.
Beat butter, salt and icing sugar until light and creamy.
Add flour and ground tea, mix til just combined.
Pat dough into a fluted rectangular tart pan, prick at 1cm intervals with a skewer and sprinkle the entire surface with sugar.
Allow the shortbread to rest for 20 minutes before baking.
Bake the shortbread for 40-50 minutes, slightly coloured around the edges.
Remove from the oven and cut into fingers of desired width while still warm.
Return shortbread to oven, switch OFF the heat and leave the door ajar.
Remove shortbread from pan when completely cooled and garnish with drizzling of white chocolate if desired.

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