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Shortbread For My Nan.

This morning I was popping into see my nan, I wanted to take her a lovely treat, my nan is an amazing lady, she is 86 and still walks and swims everyday. She was the person who inspired me to bake. When I was a little girl i'd stay with her most weekends, she would totally overindulged me, we'd play shops, where she'd allow me to pull out all her larder I'd be the shopkeeper and she my customer, we would bake, maybe just off trimmings from the pies that she would be making, but enough to get a small child interested and give me the passion for baking I have today.

Mary Berry's Shortbread (another totally inspirational lady)

Makes 30 fingers


Cake tin needed: a 30 x 23cm (12 x 9in) traybake or roasting tin
225g (8oz) plain flour
100g (4oz) semolina
225g (8oz) butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar
50g (2oz) flaked almonds (optional)
25g (1oz) demerara sugar, for dusting

Step One
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/gas 3. Lightly grease the tin.

Step Two
Mix together the flour and semolina in a bowl or food processor. Add the butter and sugar and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture is just beginning to bind together. Knead lightly until the mixture forms a smooth dough.

Step Three
Press the dough into the prepared tin and level it with the back of a spatula or a palette knife, making sure the mixture is evenly spread. Prick all over with a fork, sprinkle over the flaked almonds if using, and chill until firm.

Step Four
Bake for about 35 minutes or until a very pale golden brown. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then cut into 30 fingers. Carefully lift the fingers out of the tin with a palette knife and finish cooling on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin.