White chocolate, coconut and jam!
It’s not often that I put a decadent dessert or slice in a blog. But this one has been a family favourite for ages. Or at least many variations of it. The white chocolate part didn’t get added until quite late in the piece. And the original idea came about almost as an accident. You know, one of those cooking sessions for lunch boxes, where you’re over it. And so you just get impatient and throw something random in. Well, I had some jam left over, and needed the jar for something else. So it went into the middle of the shortbread! I don’t think I’ve actually made the recipe since, without it!
Other flavour combinations
If you love lemon flavours, then a great combination is to add some lemon juice to the shortbread. Then use a lemon curd as the filling! Again, this combination came about when I was at my wits end with what to do with a huge bucket of lemons that were gifted. I hate wasting anything, but I was really getting sick of the sight of them. At least the lemon curd was super easy to make. And it was great for other things too – spread thickly on warm scones, for example.
The whole fruit berry jam was made from organic strawberries, picked at the height of the season from Longford Berry Farm. I found the secret to keeping the fruit in larger pieces was to freeze the whole, hulled strawberries over night. And then, the next day, pop them in the fridge in a large bowl, covered with 3/4 of their weight in caster sugar. Leave that overnight too. Then, pop them in a large, deep saucepan, bring slowly up to the boil. Boil slowly for about 25 minutes, and then test regularly on a cold plate for level of setting. And remember, if when you’ve put it in jars it is too runny, just boil it up again for about another 5 minutes. It won’t spoil it at all.
White Chocolate and Coconut Shortcake
- 24cm square cake tin
- mixing bowl
- 2 cups desiccated coconut
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 200 g white chocolate
- 100 g butter
- 2 eggs 60g eggs are used in this recipe
- 1 cup whole fruit strawberry jam can substitute any other whole fruit jam
- Heat oven to 160C. Line cake tin with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, using short bursts of 30 seconds, and stirring between each time. Be careful not to overheat, as white chocolate seizes very easily.
- Mix in dry ingredients and eggs until well combined.
- Press, half the mixture evenly into the bottom of your cake tin. Spread with the jam and then crumble remaining mixture over the tip. Press down very gently to consolidate, but not squeeze the jam out.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Cool in tin, and then cut into small squares.