Ingredients (makes 4)
For the shortbread:
100g softened butter
50g cashew nuts (or use 50g more flour)
125g plain flour
For the filling:
125ml double cream
1 tbsp (15ml) icing sugar
½ tsp (2.5ml) vanilla essence
2-3 punnets raspberries
Fresh mint to decorate (optional!)
- Preheat the oven to 175C/160C fan/325F/gas mark 3 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Finely grind the cashew nuts in a blender or processor (or chop them finely).
- Put the butter into a mixing bowl and check it is really soft by stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the sugar and cream together with the butter by beating well until it is pale and fluffy.
- Stir in the chopped cashews.
- Add the flour and stir gently until the mixture begins to come together into a rough dough.
- Tip out onto the lightly floured work surface and use your hands as lightly and briefly as possible to bring the dough together into a ball – don’t over work it.
- Make sure the work surface is still floured and pat the dough out with the heel or knuckles of your hand until it is about ½ cm (1/4“) thick, rolling lightly if necessary to smooth the surface.
- Cut 4 rounds with a cutter 7-8cm across, re roll lightly then cut 4 more with a 4-5cm cutter.
- Place on the prepared baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges are just beginning to brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the tray, then move to a rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, combine the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla essence and beat until thick – being very careful not to over-whip: stop beating just before it is thick enough to hold its shape, as you can always thicken it slightly more with a spoon as you add it to the shortbreads.
- Put one large shortbread onto each serving plate (or onto a large dish). Spoon on a generous dollop of the cream, then add some raspberries (I found I could get about 16 on each biscuit).
- Put a little cream on the bottom of a smaller biscuit to help it to stick.
- Add it on top of the raspberries and add a further dab of cream and a raspberry to decorate.
- Finally, just before serving, dust with a little icing sugar and add a tiny sprig of mint.