So, post-lemon-cake-binge, further baking is technically banned until Sunday. But, as previously mentioned, there are always ways to subvert the regime. These tasty delights, being both a visiting-gift and made from one of the beloved’s most hated flavours fit the bill nicely.
125 grams of unsalted butter at room temperature
zest of three mandarins (I don’t think I’ve done anything quite so awkward as trying to zest a mandarin. I’d snittily demanded that the beloved get Imperials when she did the greengrocery shopping, instead of Honey Murcotts which are a pest to eat, hard to peel and full of pips. Anyhow, the beloved had the last laugh when she watched me zesting the world’s loosest skinned fruit and then juicing the escapee segments.)
110 grams of icing sugar
55 grams of polenta
225 grams of plain flour
juice of the three mandarins (~60mls)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 fan forced)
Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Beat the butter, rind and sifted icing sugar together in a small bowl with an electric mixer until well combined.
Stir in the polenta, sifted flour and juice in two batches.
Tip onto the bench and knead briefly and lightly to bring the dough together.
Shape into a rectangular log (it can be round, whatever you like) about 30cm long and wrap in clingwrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place on baking trays, with at least 2cm between them.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
They’re quite a surprise: shortbread-esque in bite and texture but very juicy all the same. An excellent visiting-gift for The Great Granny, who won’t go near a mandarin in its natural state, but loves the flavour when cooked. Undermining of regime complete for today.