Hazelnut shortbread with hazelnut brittle

Ground hazelnuts add texture and flavour to crumbly shortbread in this sweet and nutty dessert from Matt Tebbutt - perfect with ice cream
By Matt Tebbutt
Hazelnut shortbread with hazelnut brittle
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 10 minutes cooling time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the shortbread

  • 300 g shelled hazelnuts
  • 300 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing.
  • 250 g light soft brown sugar
  • 350 g plain flour
  • pinch ground allspice
  • icing sugar, for dusting

For the hazelnut brittle

  • butter, for greasing
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g blanched hazelnuts, chopped
  • vanilla, hazelnut or chocolate ice cream, to serve

Method

1. For the shortbread: preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 4. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter.

2. Tip the hazelnuts into a frying pan and dry-fry them over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until golden. Transfer about three-quarters of them into a food processor and blend until they're finely ground, but stop before they become oily.

3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then lightly mix in the flour, allspice, ground hazelnuts and reserved whole hazelnuts.

4. Place spoonfuls or quenelles of the dough onto the baking sheet, or make them into small rounds or any shape you like. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar once cool.

5. For the hazelnut brittle: grease a non-stick baking sheet with a little butter. Melt the caster sugar in a heavy based pan over a medium heat, swirling the pan from time to time to distribute the heat evenly. Let the sugar cook until it turns into a rich golden-brown caramel then tip in the chopped hazelnuts and stir quickly. Immediately, and very carefully, pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and leave for at least ten minutes to cool and harden.

6. To serve, break the cooled hazelnut brittle into small chunks. Serve the shortbread with the ice cream on the side and the hazelnut brittle crumbled over the top.

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