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Chocolate and Cardamom Shortbread

Biscuits | 6th July 2010 | By

The wonderful weather we have been experiencing over the past few weeks (thirsty plants notwithstanding) has meant we’ve actually enjoyed a few meals outside this year. Eating food outside always seems to taste so much better somehow, I don’t know whether it’s all in the mind or if our senses are energised by the fresh air and sunshine. Outdoor meals for us have mostly been with friends as our garden is a little on the small side and not really suitable for outdoor eating. I keep thinking I must plan a tea party down at our plot, but the best I have managed so far was to have a take away supper down there. Our latest meal was a BBQ eaten out in a garden surrounded by flowers, fields and views. I had just read about Strawberry and Clotted Cream Shortcakes at Clotted Cream Diaries, which I really liked the sound of. This reminded me of the delicious Chocolate and Cinnamon Shortbread that I made back in May last year. Marrying these two things together, I took along chocolate cardamom shortbread, strawberries in a little cardamom, rose and mint syrup and clotted cream for pudding. I based this recipe on the cinnamon one, substituting the semolina for polenta and the cinnamon for cardamom.

This is how I made the shortbread:
  • Creamed 175g unsalted butter with 75g caster sugar
  • Sifted in 20g cocoa, 60g polenta, 170g plain flour, a pinch of salt and the ground seeds from 6 cardamom pods.
  • Formed this into a ball with my hands and rolled out to about 1/2 cm thick then cut into rounds.
  • I wasn’t expecting this mixture to spread so placed the rounds quite closely together on a lined baking sheet. They spread, so I didn’t get perfect rounds!
  • Baked at 180C for 8 mins.
  • Left to cool slightly then transferred onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Dusted lightly with caster sugar
Although the recipe was virtually the same as the cinnamon squares I had previously made, these were completely different, but equally delicious. Last year’s version was deep and soft in the centre, these ones were like biscuits and had a lovely crunchy texture. The cardamom gave a really intriguing exotic twist which went well with the strawberries. The clotted cream made it into a virtually unbeatable outdoor desert!


  1. Chele

    6th July 2010 at 6:25 am

    Yum – that sounds good! What do I need to do to wrangle myself an invite to the tea party at your allotment? lol

  2. Emmalene

    6th July 2010 at 6:30 am

    They sound really innovative- I love spiced chocolate!

  3. Made2Order

    6th July 2010 at 6:51 am

    how would you describe shortbread to someone who has no idea what it is?

  4. Brownieville Girl

    6th July 2010 at 8:31 am

    That sounds like the perfect dessert to me – I haven’t ever tasted cardamom and chocolate together, but am really looking forward to doing so now!!!


  5. belleaukitchen

    6th July 2010 at 10:43 am

    these look wonderful… always dubious about the addition of polenta… do you think it really makes a difference? I guess I must try them and then i’ll know..

  6. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    6th July 2010 at 10:59 am

    Choclette, what a fascinating combination – cardamom and chocolate! They look wickedly good – like grown up strawberry shortcakes..

  7. Helen (Fuss Free Flavours)

    6th July 2010 at 11:11 am

    Oh yummy! I do like cardamon. apparently Nigella puts it in chilli. I imagine it works really well with the chocolate too.

  8. Kath

    6th July 2010 at 11:34 am

    Mmmm, they look delicious. My mouth is watering at the sight of that – chocolate, strawberries and clotted cream.

  9. Choclette

    6th July 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Chele – I’ve got to organise it first – that seems to be the biggest problem!

    Emmalene – yes I’m a big fan too – you may have noticed 🙂

    Made2Order – well it’s a bit difficult to describe. I’d say it was a type of biscuit, but Americans mean something different when they talk about biscuits. It’s not really a cookie exactly. It’s definitely not cake. It is very nice. Chocolate is an unusual addition. Normally it’s just butter, sugar and flour.

    BVG – I’ve made a cake and cupcakes with chocolate and cardamom and both of those were really good.

    Dominic – In cakes, it definitely makes a difference giving a slightly crunchy texture which I quite like. In this, I’m not sure. These were definitely crunchier than the batch I made with semolina, but they are a lot thinner.

    Celia – definitely grown up – not recommended for those with a really sweet tooth.

    Helen – I am a bit of a cardamom fan, but have only started using it with chocolate in the last year.

    Kath – you can’t really beat strawberries and cream at this time of year can you?

  10. Grazing Kate

    6th July 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Yum! Choclette – I wanted to ask if you’ve tried the Riverford Farm Recipe for Chocolate and Courgette Cake? I have loads of courgettes in the garden and want to try it, but don’t want to waste good chocolate on something that’s a gimmick – I thought you would be the person to ask, oh chocolate guru!

  11. Choclette

    6th July 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Kate – I have made a courgette cake without the chocolate which was really good. Not so much for the flavour but for the moistness and texture. It’s another way to use up courgettes if your growing them yourself, but I don’t think I’d bother buying them specially for this. I was planning on making a chocolate version this year though, so thanks for the link.

  12. Janice

    6th July 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Sounds lovely.

  13. cityhippyfarmgirl

    6th July 2010 at 11:09 pm

    They sound really lovely, and they look gorgeous too.
    I love shortbread!
    I love cardamom and chocolate together as well, but wasn’t so sure when I made one of the recipes out of the “Adventures in Chocolate” cookbook… have you had a look at the Choc Ginger Cardamom Tea Cake?

  14. Choclette

    7th July 2010 at 6:23 am

    Thanks Janice

    CityHippy – thank you for reminding me of Paul’s book – it seems to have got buried under a pile of debris. I shall fish it out and get re-inspired. What was wrong with the tea cake?

  15. Foodycat

    7th July 2010 at 8:59 am

    Lovely looking shortbread! Further to your comment on my blog, I use photoshop for cropping, resizing and adding the watermark to my pictures. Nothing fancy!

  16. knk

    7th July 2010 at 11:01 am

    yummy chocolates looks awesome


  17. Lucie

    7th July 2010 at 6:27 pm

    This is a wonderful post – beautiful photos, lovely recipe – these look delicious!

  18. cityhippyfarmgirl

    8th July 2010 at 2:45 am

    I’m not sure what was wrong with the teacake. It was tasty, just not delicious, will probably put a post up on it in a few days. If you feel inspired, I’d love to know what your take on it is.

  19. Choclette

    9th July 2010 at 4:20 pm

    FoodyCat – Photoshop sounds quite fancy enough, but thanks for info. Have been thinking I ought to watermark my photos, just not sure how.

    Thanks KNK

    Lucie – you do say such nice things – thank you.

    CityHippy – I will give it a go and let you know (might take a while). Maybe it’s more a book to inspire food dreams rather than to actually use.

  20. somesaycocoa

    11th July 2010 at 7:11 pm

    Choclette, I went to two supermarkets today and neither had cardamom. Ahhh I want to be back in the city!!!

  21. Judy

    12th July 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Chocolate makes everything better! Great combo of flavors there.

  22. Choclette

    12th July 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Gillian – you don’t really you don’t – do you?

    Thank you Judy – it certainly helps oil life’s wheels.

  23. nic @ nipitinthebud

    16th July 2010 at 7:25 pm

    drool drool, I’ve been sticking cardamons in all sorts of savoury dishes lately so it’s about time I tried them in something sweet. Flour and sugar are contraband for me but these have less than most recipes and won’t be too naughty if shared out. I’ll be ever so popular if I turn up at friends with these beauties ;o)

  24. Choclette

    16th July 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Nic – are you off wheat and sugar for specific health reasons? There certainly isn’t a great deal of sugar in these and I guess you could substitute other flours for the wheat.

  25. Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear

    19th July 2010 at 7:55 am

    Choclette… you have me drooling – I have just shared this on my Facebook so my friends can see what clever and inventive people I know…

  26. Jacqueline

    19th July 2010 at 9:26 am

    I instantly loved the shortbread, but when I saw you had topped it with clotted cream and strawberries, well I was very excited indeed.

  27. oxslip

    19th July 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I love cardamom in all shapes and forms, these are now on my ToDo list. Yum (Still in denial of my tummy)

  28. The Curious Baker

    19th July 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Chocolate and Cardamom, always a great combination!

  29. Choclette

    20th July 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Ah, thank you Wendy.

    Jac, yes not sure what I like best really – stawberries and cream with shortbread or with scones or with merangues or in cake or ….!

    Oxslip – cardamom is a particular favourite. Like cinnamon, it goes so well with both sweet and savoury.

    Thank you Curious Baker.

  30. London-Unattached

    17th February 2013 at 10:07 pm

    This looks like a great recipe! and possibly even one I might be able to make!


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