Monday, 21 May 2012

Chocolate Shortbread (gluten free, vegan)

If you listen to any of the morbidly obese / Diabetes epidemic / fat tax chatter, then you know that comfort eating is wrong.

WRONG I say!

Feeling anxious, sad or angry?  You may not consume pleasurable foods to make yourself feel better, have some ground psyllium husk and a glass of juice instead!

Well here’s a surprising discovery…

Since we moved back to England, I have discovered that Leicestershire is a green and pleasant land.  And that those green and pleasant fields are full of cutesy, ickle lambs.

Which is lovely and picturesque but not so good if you are walking your hunting dog

And yes of course I keep my dog on a lead in the fields - especially after she killed three chickens in the village (whole other story) - but that doesn’t stop her scaring the bejeesus out of the lambs.

And do you know what lambs do when you scare the pants off them?

They run straight to their mums and start – wait for it – comfort eating.

Ha haaa! 

They don’t mention that in those sanctimonious, only-eat-when-you’re-genuinely-hungry books do they?

They don’t explain why lambs that have never picked up a copy of Heat magazine or worried about their BMI should go straight for delicious, comorting food when they feel panicked about how they will pay next month’s rent.

I possibly got confused there, but you see where I’m going don’t you?

Readers, the news from nature is GOOD.

Comfort Eating is natural in times of stress.  And I reckon it's probably OK when you're not feeling particularly stressed, or if you're just a bit bored.

So put down the celery, get into the kitchen and bake some badass Chocolate Shortbread! 

‘Comfort Eating – Condoned by Mother Nature’

Does it get any better than that? 

Chocolate Shortbread

I always find gluten free shortbread a bit tricky because it often comes out a tad soft. I've added sunflower seeds and linseeds because somehow I think that it makes them crunchier.  Well, it works in my crumble topping, so why not in shortbread?!  To make these with wheat flour, omit the rice flour, buckwheat flour and xanthan gum and use 260g of wheat flour.

175g rice flour
85g buckwheat flour
¼ tsp xanthan gum
40g cocoa powder
4 tbsps ground sunflower seeds
50g ground linseeds
200g dairy free margarine
120g Demerara /coarse sugar plus extra for sprinkling

  • Grease and line a 25cm round cake tin and pre heat the oven to 170° Celsius
  • Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing and add the dairy free margarine
  • Rub the margarine into the flour and seeds until it looks a bit like fine breadcrumbs, but you’ll find that it starts to stick to itself as you go along.  Don’t worry that’s not a problem
  • Transfer the ingredients into the cake tin and pat down with your hands until it is spread more or less evenly over the base
  • Then use the back of a spoon to smooth it all down.  Prick all over with a fork, then use a round bladed knife to score the surface of the shortbread into 8 or 12 pieces.
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and carefully cut through the scores you made earlier, then sprinkle with some sugar. Leave to cool
  • Serve or eat the lot yourself on a bad day.  And Feel. No. Guilt.
  • Thank-you Mother Nature

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