And they’re vegan!
Pork Belly’s been rummaging in the store cupboard, itching to get back into the kitchen to make some sweet treats.
But what to make?
How about both…. together?
History of shortbread
Who first came up with the idea of a rich, buttery, crisp yet soft, sweet biscuit?
The Scots of course.
The first known printed recipe dates from 1736, from a Scotswoman named Mrs McLintock but it’s derived from an even older, medieval biscuit which was a twice-baked, enriched bread roll dried into a type of rusk. Later the yeast in the original was replaced by butter as it became more widely available,
For centuries shortbread was regarded as a luxury for special occasions such as Christmas, Hogmanay and weddings and legend has it that Mary, Queen of Scots, was very fond of Petticoat Tails, a thin, crisp, buttery shortbread originally flavoured with caraway seeds.
Its name derives from the old-fashioned use of the word ‘short’ to mean having a crumbly texture – like shortcrust pastry.
History of brownies
Brownies are a comparative newcomer, the first recorded use of the name being in the 1896 version of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer, in reference to molasses cakes baked individually in tin moulds. The first chocolate brownie didn’t appear in print until 1904 when several American cookbooks hit on them almost simultaneously.
We’ve yet to find out when they crossed the Atlantic – certainly neither of us remembers any such thing growing up and can’t pinpoint when we first came across them in the UK.
Still, they’re here now and very glad we are too.
If you like a brownie on its own may we point your attention to these excellent ginger, chilli chocolate ones. They’re vegan too!
But this is more of a tour-de-force combo – with a generous portion of extra fruity strawberry jam – we present Pork Belly’s strawberry-shortbread-chocolate-brownies.
Chocolate brownie strawberry shortbread
For the shortbread
- 340 grams vegan margarine We used baking Stork block
- 400 grams plain flour
- 150 grams caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
For the brownie
- 250 grams plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 300 grams caster sugar
- 70 grams cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 300 mls non-dairy milk We used oat milk
- 200 mls oil we used olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 200 grams good quality strawberry jam
For the shortbread
- Heat oven to 350 deg F/177 C/ gas mark 4
- Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking tray and line it with grease-proof paper or baking parchment with about a 2 inch overhang all round
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then fold in the flour and salt and combine until the dough comes together but is still a little crumbly
- Press the dough into the tin. Prick the surface with a fork and bake until pale gold colour – around 30 minutes
- Remove from the oven
For the brownie
- While the shortbread is baking, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except the jam, and mix until well blended
- Spread a layer of strawberry jam on top of the warm, baked shortbread then smooth the brownie mixture evenly on top.
- Bake for around 25 – 30 minutes until the top is set, the centre soft and the edges start pulling away from the sides of the tin
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray for about 10 minutes before lifting out, using the paper lining
- Cut into small squares while still warm, then leave to cool fully on a wire tray
- Dust with a mix of icing sugar and cocoa powder or leave plain