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Nadiya Hussain’s Sweet Filled Shortbread Wedges

Buttery sweet cinnamon shortbread biscuits, generously stuffed with a creamy cardamom filling.

From the book

Introduction

Having ‘pound biscuits’ in Bangladesh was a real treat – you only ever ate them if guests brought them over. They were very simple butter biscuits, sometimes decorated with a little colour. They were never filled though, so I thought why not? This is my version: buttery, cinnamon biscuit wedges filled with a sweet surprise.

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Ingredients

For the shortbread:
120g rice flour
250g unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing the tin
120g caster sugar
250g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the filling:
100g cottage cheese
4 cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp plain flour
50g caster sugar
To serve:
icing sugar

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Method

Start with the shortbread. Add the rice flour to a non-stick frying pan and put it onto the hob on a medium to high heat. Keep stirring till the rice is golden brown. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely.

Put the softened unsalted butter in a large bowl with the caster sugar and mix till you have mixture that is smooth and creamy. This can take up to 5 minutes.

Now add the plain flour, toasted rice flour and ground cinnamon and mix till you have a dough. Flatten the dough to an even round and cut right in half. Take one half, flatten some more, then wrap in baking paper and leave in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

Grease the inside and line a round 20-cm loose-bottom cake tin.

Take the remaining shortbread mixture and press into the tin in an even layer, making sure to create a very small 5mm lip around the edge so the filling doesn’t run over. Pop into the freezer while you make the filling.

For the filling, put the cottage cheese in a bowl. Crush the cardamom pods, remove the green outer husk and crush the black seeds to a fine powder along with the fennel seeds. Add to the cottage cheese with the plain flour and caster sugar.

Take the shortbread base out of the freezer. Spoon in the filling, right up to the raised lip, and spread evenly. Leave in the fridge to chill.

When the other half of the pastry has had at least 1 hour in the freezer, take it out. Grate on top of the sweet filling till you have no more dough left. Pop the tart back into the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

When you are ready to bake, take the shortbread out of the fridge, sprinkle with icing sugar and bake for 45–50 minutes till golden brown.

As soon as it comes out of the oven, score using a sharp knife into six equal wedges and leave to cool in the tin. Take out and they are ready to serve, dusted with icing sugar to finish.

+ Shortbread can make a great alternative to pastry. Use it in the same way and you get a rich, decadent pastry for tarts and pies.

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From the book: Nadiya’s Simple Spices

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