Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hazelnut Rings

Shortbread bases are topped with an almond mixture, hazelnuts and melted chocolate. Recipe makes 12 rings.


2 ounces (60 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1 egg yolk
4 ounces (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup ground almonds
2 ounces (60 g) whole hazelnuts, roasted and skins rubbed off
2 1/2 ounces (75 g) dark cooking chocolate, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Lightly grease 2 baking trays.
2. For the bases, put the butter, sugar, flour and egg yolk into a mixing bowl; beat well to a smooth dough. Cover with clear plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
3. For the topping, put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Sift the icing sugar over and beat until pale and creamy.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder over; add the ground almonds and mix well until evenly combined.
5. Put the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out and cut out twelve 3 inch (7.5 cm) rounds. Cut out the centers, using a 1 1/4 inch (3 cm) round cutter, to form rings. Re-roll the trimmings if necessary. Put the rings on the baking trays and bake for 5 minutes.
6. Put the almond mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star pipe/nozzle. Remove the biscuits from the oven. Pipe the topping onto each ring and top with the hazelnuts.
7. Return biscuits to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until pale golden and cooked. Drizzle he rings evenly with the melted chocolate.

Tip: Take care when melting chocolate. Heat it slowly and do not let it get too hot or it will thicken and be too difficult to work with. Drizzle the melted chocolate from a teaspoon over the rings.

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