The Great British Bake Off’s chocolate shortbread twists are a real treat served with a cuppa or wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon as a food gift. Shortbread is synonymous with Scotland and these twisted ropes of the crisp, buttery biscuit studded with dark and white chocolate are pretty enough to grace any Hogmanay party. Don’t skip the chilling stage as the dough needs to be firm when it goes into the oven, to keep a good shape. For the best flavour, use really good chocolate.
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 90g caster sugar
- 1 medium egg, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 50g good-quality white chocolate
- (at least 30% cocoa solids)
- 50g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids)
- icing sugar, for dusting
Put the softened butter into a mixing bowl, or the bowl of a free-standing electric mixer, and beat until creamy with a wooden spoon or a hand-held electric whisk, or the whisk attachment of the mixer. Add the sugar and beat for a couple of minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down the side of the bowl from time to time.
Break the egg into a small bowl, add the vanilla extract and beat with a fork just until combined. Gradually add the egg to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl as before.
Sift the flour, salt and cornflour into the bowl and mix in with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Use your hands to gently bring the mixture together into a ball of dough. Divide in half and transfer one portion to another bowl.
Grate or very finely chop the white chocolate – you can do this quickly in a food processor, but take care and use brief ‘pulses’ to avoid melting the chocolate. Add the chocolate to one portion of dough and mix in with a wooden spoon. Grate or finely chop the dark chocolate and mix into the second portion of dough.
Weigh the white chocolate dough and divide it into 4 equal portions. Using your hands, roll each portion on the worktop to a sausage 1cm thick and 40cm long. Move the white chocolate sausages to one side and repeat with the dark chocolate dough, to make a total of 8 sausages.
Lay one white chocolate sausage next to a dark chocolate sausage and gently twist them together – if the dough breaks just press it back together. Trim each end of the dough twist, then cut the twist across into 6 equal pieces. Repeat with the remaining dough sausages to make 24 pieces in all.
Arrange the pieces on the lined baking sheets, setting them slightly apart to allow for expansion. Cover lightly with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Towards the end of the chilling time, heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
Bake the twists for 12–15 minutes until golden and firm – check after 10 minutes and rotate the sheets if necessary so the shortbreads bake evenly. Remove from the oven and leave the biscuits to firm up on the baking sheets for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Once cold, dust with icing sugar. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days.
For this recipe you will need: 2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper