20041222

recipe: wattle seed flavoured shortbread



wattle seeds are the seeds from the acacia tree species a. difficilis, and have been used for thousands of years by australian aborigines as a food source. it tastes a bit like chocolate, a bit like coffee, a bit like hazelnuts, so nowadays it's a rather popular? trendy? flavouring component for almost anything sweet and some things savoury.

since it's bush tucker, i turned to my favourite aussie chef, bill granger, for a simple shortbread recipe i could use to highlight the wattle seeds mellow nuttiness. i adapted this recipe from his heart shortbread kisses found on page 90 of "sydney food." these are lovely light-with-a-bite little cookies that would be wonderful with an iced coffee on a sunny afternoon or a warm cuppa when it's a little gray.

wattle seed shortbread, adapted from a bill granger recipe

40g (1/3 c) icing (confectioners') sugar, sifted
250g (9 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 g (1/2 c) rice flour
185g (1 1/2 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tbsp wattle seeds
pinch of salt

beat the sugar and butter together until just combined. in another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (except the wattle seeds), add the wattle seeds, then mix into the butter and sugar mix until a dough forms. mold into a log 6cm or 2 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in cling film and refrigerate at least half an hour.

preheat oven to 180˚C (350˚F). cut the log into thin slices, placed on a greased or lined baking sheet and bake for 15-8 minutes, until golden brown. cool on a wire rack.

top tip: save all the wrappers/papers your butter comes wrapped in in a resealable bag in your fridge or freezer. when you need to grease a pan, pull one of these babies out--there's usually enough butter left to grease several pans, and the wrapper makes it easy and easy to clean up after!

8 comments:

Oh I really like this blog of yours. As for your question... I think many.

hi saffron

you have a lovely name. thanks for stopping by! yes there *are* many :-)

Deeply embarrased to say I've never had wattle seeds but have admired the idiosyncratic yellow flowers from time to time. In fact most tucker I've had in the bush has been frozen at one stage in its life.

Nice top tip.

nth--i have to admit since it is a night for it that the first time i tried wattle seeds i was all "phffthp--used coffee grounds!" but hey, thems quality used coffee grounds. i think it's best if you can steep the seeds in liquid or if you let the baked good sit to allow the flavour to develop.

anyway, i wouldn't recommend harvesting wattle seeds from the bush--a. difficilis, a. victoriae and a. murrayana are edible, but acacia georginae contains a substance that is a widely used rodenticide, and a. ligulata causes hair loss. might be fun for a night with the easy bake coven (grr-i wish i came up with that phrase!), but not during the holiday season.

Australian Wattleseed is probally one of the most interesting flavours about with strong coffee, hazelnut and chocolate flavours its certianly something different.

I have a number of wattleseed recipes on my website, but here some interesting recipes here ;
Wattlecino http://www.benjaminchristie.com/recipe/36/wattleseed-caffee-latte-or-wattlecino
Wattleseed Pavlova
http://www.benjaminchristie.com/recipe/48/wattleseed-pavlova

If you need to buy some wattleseed, an associate of mine whom pioneered Wattleseed many years ago, Vic Cherikoff ( www.cherikoff.net ) has some available via his online shop http://shop.dining-downunder.com

hello chef! i need pavlova pointers. for an island that has 90% humidity. love the recipes though--thanks!

ah, chef cherikoff. doesn't he scare you just even a tiny, teeny bit? i am scared of him, a tiny, teeny bit.

Chef Santos,

How on Earth could you be scared of me? Even a teeny weeny bit? After all, haven't I brought you a whole new set of ingredients to bright up your day?

As for wattleseeds, you are absolutely spot on and it is recommended that you stick with the commercial varieties of wattleseed (and other wild foods) (www.cherikoff.net/shop) which have been scientifically scrutinised and where there's a company with a public and product liability insurance policy behind your experimentation.

The major benefit, though, is that the product I developed in 1984 and which is now commonly known as Wattleseed, is as much art as is roasting coffee. Getting the right stuff means it'll deliver the beautiful coffee-chocolate-hazelnut flavour Wattleseed is getting so famous for.

Incidentally, have you tried it in ice cream? Mmmmm!

did i say a tiny, teeny bit? i meant terrified.

love the spices! what the heck do i do with the red desert dust?!