Caramel Cake

Nigella’s Shortcake and Passion Fruit Curd

I have had my first “real” post in the drafts for quite some time now. It was supposed to be my first post because its something I baked when i had just started baking, Nigella’s Madeira Cake. I came across the recipe in the very first book i bought on baking- How to be a Domestic Goddess. But it looks like I have lost or rather misplaced the photos. So I am moving on and posting something I enjoyed baking, also by Nigella. The recipe is available online on Nigella’s website.

Although the original recipe is called “Strawberry Shortcake”, I’m omitting the strawberry in the title because i chose a different filling instead of the strawberries and cream. I wouldn’t really call what i chose, a filling, it is just something to go along with the shortcake, because of its consistency. I had a lot of passion fruit at the time and wanted to try something i hadn’t before, so I went for the Passion Fruit Curd (also by Nigella).

To be honest, I had never even heard of fruit curds before i came across this recipe in the book. So i had no clue as to how it tastes or how its supposed to taste. But let me tell you this, it tastes D-I-V-I-N-E!! Who would have thought eggs could do that to passion fruit! You could eat it with bread or pancakes as Nigella suggests. I’m sure it would taste great with just about anything. And it was perfect with these shortcakes except for the consistency which doesn’t let you sandwich it between the shortcakes. But that doesn’t make it any less yummy, so go for it.

One small tip I learnt is that Nigella has mentioned the size of the cutter used to make the shortcakes. You don’t necessarily have to use the exact same size, it would be perfect if you did, but use the size only as a reference and not as a rule. Any cutter that is close to the given size should do.

Hope this post inspires someone to try out this simple yet wonderful combination.

Shortcakes

Makes: 8 Shortcakes
Baking Time: 10-15 mins
Recipe Courtesy: Nigella Lawson
Ingredients:

325 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons caster sugar
125 grams unsalted butter (frozen)
1 large egg (beaten)
125 ml single cream
1 large egg white (lightly beaten)
Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 7/425ºF.
  • Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Grate the butter into these dry ingredients and use your fingertips to finish crumbling the butter into the flour. 
  • Whisk the egg into the cream, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix. You may not need all of the eggy cream to make the dough come together, so go cautiously.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm / ¾ inch. Dip a 6½ cm / 2½ inch round cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting out.
  • Place the shortcakes about 2½ cm / 1 inch apart on a greased or lined baking sheet, brush the tops with the egg white, and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of caster sugar. You can cover and refrigerate them now for up to 2 hours.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool for a short while on a wire rack.

Passion Fruit Curd

Makes: 350 ml (approx)
Recipe Courtesy: Nigella Lawson
Ingredients:

11 passionfruit
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
150 grams caster sugar
100 grams unsalted butter
Method:

  • Put the seeded pulp of 10 of the passion fruits into the processor and blitz just to loosen the seeds. Strain into a jug or bowl.
  • Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together.
  • Melt the butter over a low heat in a heavy-based pan, and when melted stir in the sugar-egg mixture and the passion fruit juice, and keep cooking gently, stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • Switch off the heat, whisk in the pulp along with the seeds of the remaining passionfruit, let cool slightly. 
  • Refrigerate if you have any left.
The shortcakes are best eaten while still warm, so split each one across the middle, dollop around 1-2 tablespoons of the curd and set the top back on and ENJOY!!!