Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shortbread... the fudgy ginger kind...

Jeff delved back into that Holiday magazine again to pick out what he wanted me to make for the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day we do for his co-workers. This is the fourth item we've made and so far each one, including today's treat, has been a real winner!

If you've been reading our site for awhile, you have probably picked up on the fact that we love the combination of sweet with a dash of heat. While these Fudgy Ginger Shortbread wedges are not necessary "hot", they do have a mild spicy bite from tiny cubes of crystallized ginger strewn throughout the cookie. The cookies have a moist, delicate and crumbly quality to them, yet they are still firm enough so you can easily pick them up off a plate without falling apart.

Fudgy Ginger ShortbreadDutch-process cocoa gave these buttery wedges a smooth chocolate depth - however, since there is no leavening to fuss with in the recipe, feel free to use a natural cocoa powder - especially if you like the slight bitterness it has. This cocoa powder also turned the cookies a very dark color which set off the light drizzle on top. When the cookies are done, let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes to finish setting up - after that amount of time has passed, they will be firm enough to lift out as the pans are lined with foil for easy removal. This is done so you can easily divide the rounds into wedges while they are still warm - it allows to you get clean cuts without much crumbling.

Fudgy Ginger ShortbreadWith the help of our food processor, tonight's dinner transformed a few plain russet potatoes into these flavorful little Indian-Spiced Baked Potato Cakes. We first started by toasting mustard and cumin seeds in a little olive oil until they began to pop. The spices along with a dose of salt are then pounded in a mortar until they are well smashed.

If you don't have a food processor, you could certainly shred the potatoes on a hand grater, but it may take awhile as you need 4 1/2 cups. The potatoes will probably be a little wet once you are done, so be sure to squeeze them to remove most of the excess liquid - I patted them with a few paper towels to help the process along. The shreds are tossed with the toasted spices, fresh parsley, canola oil, turmeric and a pinch of cayenne pepper. To keep the cakes fairly even in size, they are portioned out by using a 1/3 cup measuring utensil - they are a little thick at this point, so gently press them down until they are about 1/2" thick. You don't want them too thick or they may not have enough time to cook all the way through.

Indian-Spiced Baked Potato CakesThe cakes bake the majority of the time on one side, but they held together quite well when we flipped them over to get some color on the other side. To calm down the spices some, each cake is given a dollop of cool sour cream before serving. Jeff and I both liked these, but I think we may have packed the potatoes in the measuring cup a bit too much. While the insides were cooked and the outside had a nice golden crust, I thought the texture was a little on the gummy side. They were either packed too lightly or I didn't get enough of the excess liquid out I think - great flavor though!

Indian-Spiced Baked Potato Cakes


  1. The fudgy ginger shortbread is exactly my kind of sweet. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Helene - I hope you give them a try!

  3. Wow! Your shortbread looks amazing! Can't wait to try making it.

  4. Oooh thanks, I tried them recently during my extended period in captivity, they were excellent. I was a little disappointed that I didnt really detect the ginger on first bite. I found that I think they would be better with about twice as much. I do think they would make a wonderful base for tarts or some kind of cheesecake. MMM.

  5. Jenny - Yes, the ginger is mild at first... however I think it will develop if it has any time to sit!