May 1, 2012

HUNGARIAN SHORTBREAD - BAKING WITH JULIA

English / Italiano



Hi and Welcome Back to our "Tuesdays with Dorie - Baking with Julia" fortnightly rendezvous (it's funny how the French word "rendez-vous" has lost its "-" in English). I'm so delighted to have you back. Is it a première for you? Please click here and I'll be glad to explain to you how this wonderful open-group works. 
The Hungarian Shortbread won the May's recipe nomination competition, together with "xxx" (visit me on May 15th to find out) and after tasting it, I was pleased it did: DELICIOUS was the adjective that jumped into my mind after a piece of shortbread had jumped into my mouth.

Bentornati! Che piacere ritrovarvi al nostro appuntamento quindicinale di  
"Tuesdays with Dorie - Baking with Julia". E' la vostra prima volta? Allora cliccate qui e sarò lieta di spiegarvi il regolamento di questo splendido gruppo aperto.
Il Shortbread Ungherese ha vinto le selezioni del mese di maggio, assieme a "xxx" (vi aspetto al 15.5 per scoprire la seconda ricetta), e dopo averlo assaggiato ne sono stata ben felice: "DELIZIOSO!" il primo aggettivo che mi è balzato in mente dopo che un pezzetto di torta m'era balzato in bocca!




The first step: Preparing the JAM

If you love rhubarb this jam is for you! It was so easy to make and absolutely delicious. Time consuming was the trimming of the rhubarb - if I can define it like that :-). 
To the original recipe I made some changes though:

Sugar: instead of white sugar I've used my homemade sugar and vanilla

Vanilla bean: instead of vanilla bean and seeds I've used my homemade "vanilla powder". 


At the end of the cooking time and after cooling, the jam was very watery, but I can say with certitude (can I?) that my above-mentioned changes aren't responsible for that little "inconvenient". So, in order to get rid of the flooding, I've put the jam into a sieve, mixed it gently with a spoon and let it rest while preparing the dough. In the end it was just perfect. I'm definitely going to make this jam again.

La prima fase: la Preparazione della CONFITTURA/COMPOSTA di RABARBARO.

Se amate il rabarbaro, questa composta fa per voi! E' veloce, facile da preparare e molto buona.
Alla ricetta originale (che troverete in fondo alla pagina) ho comunque fatto alcune variazioni:
Zucchero: ho sostituito lo zucchero con lo "zucchero e vaniglia" fatto in casa.
Baccello e semi di vaniglia: li ho sostituiti con la polvere di vaniglia che avevo preparato tempo fa.
Visto che a fine cottura e anche dopo il raffreddamento la composta di rabarbaro era alquanto annacquata (posso comunque dire con certezza che le mie modifiche non ne sono responsabili...vero?!) l'ho messa in un colino e mescolandola gentilmente con un cucchiaio sono riuscita a liberarmi dell'acqua in eccesso: bell'e pronta e squisita! Così buona che presto la rifarò!




The second step: Preparing the SHORTBREAD
4 sticks of butter (450 g) - 2 cups of sugar (400 g) ??????!!! No, not me! I love baking and this love "forces" me to bake at least 3 times a week, but my common sense and my scale have started sending out warning signals: too much is too much. So instead of reducing the baking frequency I've reduced the calories and fat (when and where possible). To the original recipe I made these changes: 
Butter: instead of 4 sticks of butter (450 g): 2/3 butter (300 g) and 1/3 yoghurt (150 g). 
Sugar: Instead of 2 cups (400 g) I've used 1 1/2 cup (300 g). 
Please have a look at the pictures above to see how fluffy and creamy the mixture was, even with my changes.

La seconda fase: la Preparazione del SHORTBREAD (frolla)
450 di burro e 400 g di zucchero ?????????? No, non io! Adoro cucinare torte, dolci e pane e questo amore "mi costringe" a prepararli almeno 3 volte la settimana, ma il mio buon-senso e la mia bilancia hanno cominciato ad inviarmi segnali d'allarme: il troppo è troppo!
Così al posto di ridurre i miei tempi in cucina ho iniziato a ridurre le calorie e grassi dove e quando possibile. 
Ecco cosa ho cambiato in questa ricetta:
Burro: al posto di 450 g di burro ho utilizzato "solo" 300 g di burro e 150 g di yogurt naturale.
Zucchero: ho ridotto lo zucchero da 400 g a "solo" 300 g.
Guardando le foto noterete che nonostante i miei cambiamenti, l'impasto è diventato soffice e cremoso.


The third step: Assembling and Baking the Cake
I have soo many abandoned baking gadgets in my pantry, that I feel good (it eases my conscience!) when I find a way to use them. This cake separator came in hand for baking one cake in two flavours!
First I had to pre-bake the bottom (dough only) for about 15 minutes. It was not stated in the book but some of the "fellow bakers of the group" suggested to do so, and I did. Thank you so much for your brilliant idea! It worked out perfectly (picture 1, left).
Then I spread my homemade rhubarb jam on the right side (picture 2) and over it I spread strawberry jam (picture 2 - right). 
On the left side I've spread blackcurrant jam (picture 2 - left).
I was so pleased that Julia suggested to freeze the dough and grate it over the jam. It simplified everything! (picture 3).
Picture 4 shows the cake as it came out of the oven. It should have been covered with icing sugar straightaway, but I preferred to wait until cold, so to avoid the melting of the sugar and use less of it.

La terza fase: Assemblaggio e Cottura

Ho la dispensa così piena di attrezzi da cucina "abbandonati" che quando trovo il sistema per utilizzarne uno di loro, la mia coscienza si mette un pochino in pace (vero che non succede solo a me?). Ecco, oggi questo "separatore" per torte è stato utilissimo: una torta - due gusti!
Per prima cosa ho precotto il fondo della torta per 15 minuti (foto 1  sinistra). Questo procedimento non era nel libro, ma dato che alcune amiche del gruppo lo consigliavano, ho voluto dar retta a loro. Grazie di cuore per il consiglio!
Poi ho cosparso il lato destro di confittura/composta di rabarbaro (foto 1) e sopra il rabarbaro ho spalmato confittura di fragole (foto 2 destra).
Il lato sinistro l'ho cosparso con confittura di ribes nero / cassis (foto 2 sinistra).
Grazie al consiglio del libro di congelare e grattugiare il resto della pasta sopra la confittura, finire la torta è stato facilissimo (foto 3).
La foto 4 mostra la torta appena uscita dal forno, quando avrei dovuto spolverarla con zucchero a velo. Ho preferito però attendere che la torta  diventasse fredda per evitare che lo zucchero a velo si sciogliesse ( e anche qui ho potuto utilizzare meno zucchero).


Well, if the next 2 pictures don't make you jump into the kitchen and bake it,  then you really must have an amazing will power! 
Please don't forget to visit the "Hosting Ladies": Lynette of 1smallkitchen and Cher of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler. Not only will you enjoy their blogs but also you'll find the recipe of the Hungarian Shortcake.  

Se le prossime due foto non vi faranno volare in cucina a preparare questo dolce, allora lasciatemelo dire: avete una gran bella forza di volontà! :-)
Non dimenticatevi di visitare le "Hosting Ladies" Lynette di 1smallkitchen e Cher di The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler. Vi divertirete a leggere i loro blogs.




PS: You may be wondering why I've written the full recipe in Italian: since the book has not been translated into Italian, TWD's administrators gave me the permission to translate the recipes of the book for my Italian speaking friends, who do not understand English. I'm not handling against the rules :-)

PS: Dato che il libro non è stato tradotto in italiano, gli organizzatori del gruppo mi hanno dato il permesso di trascrivere la ricetta per tutti gli amici che non parlano inglese e che non possono così approfittare delle ricette delle "Hosting Ladies".

Ricetta e procedimento originali
  (tradotti dal libro Baking with Julia, p 327-328)

Confittura / Composta di Rabarbaro
450 g di rabarbaro tagliato a pezzi di ca 2.5 cm
100 g di zucchero
120 ml di acqua
½ baccello di vaniglia
In una casseruola mettere zucchero, rabarbaro, acqua e vaniglia (semini raschiati e baccello). Portare lentamente a bollore e mescolare spesso fino a quando il rabarbaro non sia diventato molliccio. Il tempo di cottura dipenderà dal rabarbaro, ma probabilmente non sarà più di 10 minuti.
Togliere la casseruola dal fuoco, levare il baccello di vaniglia e lasciar raffreddare.

Il Shortbread (frolla):
560 g di farina
2 cucchiaini di lievito in polvere
1/4 cucchiaino di sale
450 g burro a temperatura ambiente (modificato! 300 burro + 150 yogurt nature)
4 tuorli d'uovo (grande)
400 g di zucchero semolato (modificato: "solo" 300)
Zucchero a velo per spolverare

Procedimento:
  1. In una ciotola mescolare farina, lievito e sale.
  2. In un mixer elettrico sbattere il burro ad alta velocità fino a quando non sia chiaro e spumoso (o come ho fatto io: burro e yogurt).
  3. Aggiungere i tuorli e lo zucchero e sbattere finché lo zucchero non sia sciolto e la miscela risulti chiara e spumosa. Ridurre la velocità del mixer al minimo e aggiungere gli ingredienti secchi, mescolando solo per incorporarli (e non oltre).
  4. Con la pasta formare due palle, avvolgerle nel cellofan e metterle nel congelatore per 30 minuti (devono solidificare).
  5. Preriscaldare il forno a 175 °C.
  6. Rimuovere una palla di pasta dal freezer e, utilizzando una grattugia con grandi fori, grattugiare la pasta in una teglia di 23 x 30 cm.
  7. Premere delicatamente la pasta per raggiungere anche gli angoli (cercare di premere il meno possibile (!))  e cospargerla di marmellata di rabarbaro. Grattugiare il resto della pasta sopra la marmellata e premere leggermente per distribuirla uniformemente.
  8. Cuocere per circa 40 min. o fino a doratura.
  9. Spolverare con abbondante zucchero a velo non appena tolta dal forno e far raffreddare su una griglia. Una volta raffreddata, tagliare a barrette o cubetti.Imballata si conserva per circa due giorni a temperatura ambiente.







Interessati all'acquisto del libro? Would you like to buy the book?

      


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49 comments:

  1. Looks great!! With TWD is always confusing because they put the LYL link at different hours so that it's not at 12 every week...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mireia and thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  2. Your cakes look wonderful! I love the split baking pan and how your jam layer is in the middle of the cakes. I did not have the confidence to change out the butter and sugar like you did. I would like to try it for the next recipe (Pecan Sticky Buns). Have you thought about how you were going to change that one? I would love to know.

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  3. This was a fun recipe--so many ways to make it yours. It looks delicious. thanks for baking along with us!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting Cindy.
      A delicious recipe, and a fantastic group indeed!

      Delete
  4. Very pretty pictures! Thanks for stopping by, to tell the truth, I am not a huge fan of jam filled cakes and cookies ;-) And to answer your question: I bought the book ...

    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ostwestwind, thank you for commenting. I love your rhubarb plant.
      I hope that you love "Konfi-Brot" as we say here in Switzerland...
      Do you make rhubarb jam or what else do you make with it?
      All the best

      Delete
  5. Under your last picture I found: Interessati all'acquisto del libro? Would you like to buy the book? So I answered ...

    Ulrike @Küchenlatein

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    Replies
    1. Oh...I'm more relaxed now :-)
      I thought I might have caused some misunderstanding.

      Nice to be baking along!
      All the best

      Delete
  6. Both your strawberry/rhubarb version as well as your blackcurrant version look delicious, And the changes that you made to the recipe sound interesting. I love that your blog has an English/Italian version...

    Buona settimana!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea, thank you for commenting.
      Writing 2 versions takes such a long time but it's worth it (I desperately HOPE so)!!
      LOL!

      Grazie, buona settimana anche a te :-)

      Delete
  7. I like your lower fat and calories changes - a recipe like this could use some. I went full on all the way, and loved the taste, but only had two pieces on two different days. Your shortbread turned out well.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting Cakelaw.
      This recipe is a winner!

      Delete
  8. Black currant jelly sounds great! This recipe needs something tangy to counteract all that sugar. Thanks for baking along.

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  9. Your trick for lightening this with yogurt is intriguing. I will try that. I love all the different flavors of jam you tried. The dough is just a palette for a variety of jams, don't you think?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Betsy, I fully agree: one dough and thousand flavours. Perfect!
      Please let me know if you try the "yoghurt tricks" - I'd really appreciate a feedback.
      Thanks for stoppying by.
      All the best

      Delete
  10. glad you liked it! :)

    Alice @ http://acookingmizer.wordpress.com

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  11. Yours look delicious! Love all the photos!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Clivia for stopping by and commenting.

      Delete
  12. I would love to know how you made your vanilla powder! Your shortbread looks so pretty. I love your egg separator. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Elaine, thanks for commenting.
      To make the vanilla powder I take the old vanilla beans that I had stuck in the sugar (to get the sugar & Vanilla).
      With the time they get very hard.
      So when I need to replace them, I just put them in my food processor and pulse pulse pulse until they are reduced to powder.
      All the best.

      Delete
  13. Looks great! I reduced the sugar as well, but I didn't think to sub some of the butter with yogurt. I might have to try that next time...

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  14. Your shortbread looks fabulous! You would never know you cut the butter and sugar! It also came out so high…Nice job!

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  15. Beautifully done! And the strawberries added a richer color to the filling....so pretty!

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  16. i did blackcurrant too! Will definitely look into cutting down the butter and sugar for the next time.
    Looks lovely!

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  17. Your shortbreads look fantastic! I'm definitely going to try this with strawberry next.

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  18. They look great! I bet the yogurt gave a nice tangy flavor!

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    Replies
    1. Hi loavesandstitches,
      in my opinion the yoghurt taste wasn't "detectable".
      But these cookies/cakes... were really great.
      Thank you for visiting.

      Delete
  19. Great blog post. I love the pictures and detail. Fun baking with you! Blessings. www.praycookblog.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Catherine for visiting and commenting.

      Delete
  20. This is the first time I have visited your site and I will return every time you post. It's very good. First, thank you for actually cutting the butter and sugar and providing the info. I made the recipe as written but want to use less butter and sugar next time. I didn't read the chatter comments prior to baking this and did not pre-bake the bottom layer before spreading the filling and grating the top layer on. And, yes, I felt my bottom was not completely done. All in all, it still was a delicious bar cookie and I will make it again, either as a dessert in a springform pan or a Christmas platter cookie bar.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary, you made me "blush". I'm delighted you've liked my blog and I am looking forward to seeing you "here" again.
      I definitely will "rebake" it. We loved it and for Xmas-times is perfect... maybe with some apple & cinnamon jam...

      Delete
  21. Everything looks great, and kudos for making the rhubarb jam!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you yummychunklet for visiting and commenting.

      Delete
  22. A brilliant post Carola! Your shortbread looks like something out of the Baking With Julia cookbook itself! Bravo you! I also love how you lightened up the recipe. Wish I would have thought of that ;) Nicely done, nicely done!!!

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    Replies
    1. Renee, I hope you had many visitor. The way you wrote your post was fantastic and made me smile all the way!
      Thank you for visiting me.

      HI EVERYBODY, YOU'D READ RENEE POST...it's great!

      Delete
  23. Very lovely job - I like how you cut back the butter and sugar. And I love the egg separator :-)
    Thanks for baking along this week.

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  24. Rhubarb & Blackcurrant? Sounds just delicious!!

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  25. We made the rhubarb jam, too. It's so good with the sweetness of the shortbread. I really enjoy your posts and like that you're sharing the recipes with your Italian readers.

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