Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sage Shortbread and My New Favourite Food Porn Site

July was for the most part a total washout in Berlin. Day upon day of grey skies and rain, interspersed with the odd day here and there where the sun was able to poke through.

The good thing about it was all our herbs that were suffering from the dry spell in June, got some respite, and some much needed rain water. In the span of a few days they all burst back to life. The sage in particular has been over the top, and has started to crowd out the thyme on one side and the parsley on the other.

The other good thing about all the rain was that it triggered more inside pursuits like baking, which should have been the last thing on our minds in any other July but this one.

So, imagine the serendipity when I decided to give this new site Gojee.com a try and sent the link over to Kels. Gojee seems to be an aggregator of recipe from different food blogs. It's got a really simple interface where you type in what you crave, or what you want, and then a gorgeous slideshow of matching recipes comes up for you to browse through. The full screen page features mouth watering photos of the recipes and I admit to just randomly typing in ingredients to satisfy my food porn appetite. (note: not all ingredients have found their way into their search engine -- i tried venison the other day and came up with zilch.) The site definitely has more of a N. American focus, with ingredients and measurements being in US format. Each recipe links to the blog post where it originated, which for someone like me is a rabbit hole of further discovery.

Kelsie typed in Fresh Sage and came up with a lovely recipe for sage shortbread. It was the perfect kind of crumbly, and a good balance of sweet with a hint of salt and definite notes of sage. Perfect with a cup of tea on a cold rainy July day.

Sweet and Salty Herbed Shortbread
from Food52.com

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, etc.)
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

  1. Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl. In a small bowl, use your fingers to gently rub together 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the chopped herbs (this will help release the oils). Whisk this mixture into the flour.

  2. Cut up the butter into chunks and add it to the flour, stirring with a fork to make a soft dough. Gently pat the dough into a 9-inch round or square baking pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar evenly over the dough.

  3. Bake the shortbread for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and no longer looks at all wet. Using a very sharp knife, score into fingers, squares or wedges while it is still quite warm, and let it cool completely in the pan before separating the pieces.

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