Shortbread is a sticky subject!
So, yesterday I made shortbread biscuits. The reason I made them was to test that they would work as individual biscuits. I have had some shortbread nightmares recently when trying to do one big tray/mould bake.
My friend Astrid emailed me :
“ I’ve been trying to perfect my shortbread technique and it’s not going too badly (I find the rubbing technique works much better than creaming for me) but I wanted to use a mould I bought in a cook shop in Scotland and it’s not working: the dough sticks to the mould (it’s ceramic) and twice now I’ve had to scrape it off with a spatula, which defeats the object of having a patterned mould in the first place! Is there a different recipe I can use or a way of doing it so this doesn’t happen?”
So I set about finding a recipe that I thought would work best in a ceramic mould (I also treated myself to a cute Scottish Shortbread mould from Lakeland- thistles and all!) And used the shortbread recipe from yesterday which is here.
I used ‘Cake release’ which is a great non stick product (that I use with a lot of success with cakes) and applied it to the ceramic mould with a pastry brush so I could get into all the nooks and crannies.
To make the dough I used the rubbing method that Astrid used, popped it in the fridge for an hour then pressed it into mould.
and baked it in the oven until it was a light golden brown colour.
But it didn’t work! It got well and truly stuck.
Round twoSo, I tried again!
This time I blended the ingredients in the food mixer, creaming the butter and the sugar together before I added the dry ingredients. I chilled the dough overnight, greased the mould with butter and dusted it with plain flour, removing any excess. Then I rolled out the dough and pressed it into the mould lightly and baked it. Guess what? It got stuck again. It did taste good though – I tried to remove the shortbread with a spatula and little pieces popped out. Don’t worry, none went to waste.
Okay, so by now I was getting pretty annoyed. Why is it sticking? What am I doing wrong? I searched on Google and I messaged every Twitter foodie I could find. No one came up with any better ideas than the ones I had already tried. So I thought I’d go straight to the experts in baking equipment. I spoke to Lakeland direct! Their advice was….
“Use a slightly lower heat and cook a little longer, to prevent sticking. The dough needs to be firmly pressed into the mould. It should be a toasty light brown when cooked. Be sure to let the shortbread cool in the pan before trying to remove.”
Well I decided I would give it one final shot using all their advice. And here’s the result!
I buttered the mould (or should I say caked it in butter?)
Rolled out the shortbread, placed it in the mould and pressed it into place. Baked it, left it to cool, placed it back in the fridge for an hour or so and….
it STILL got stuck!!!!
So, I’m stumped! Do you have a clever trick for getting shortbread out of a ceramic mould? What’s the knack! If you can shed any light/ experience/ help, we (Astrid and I) would love to hear your tips! Please post a comment below.