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 :)
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
- 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.