Pistachio Shortbreads with White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ganache

6/21/2012 04:00:00 PM

You know, this was actually going to be my Anzac day post.  I had it all planned, and was really excited about the idea.  Rather than making Anzac biscuits, I'd mark the occasion with my very own biscuit recipe inspired by great Australian ingredients.  I wanted to make a shortbread biscuit infused with the flavour of Aussie lemon myrtle, thanks to the block of The Butter Factory-brand lemon-myrtle butter I had in my fridge, which had been gifted to me by The Weekend Local in Euroa.  (Incidentally, Myrtleford's Butter Factory is an actual butter producer, as distinct from the lovely Euroa Butter Factory, the B&B where we stayed whilst in the Goulburn River Valley.  Phew!  Confusing much?)

The Butter Factory lemon-myrtle butter
Back to the biscuits - I was going to take my lemon-myrtle scented biscuits and sandwich them together with a white chocolate ganache, just like the white chocolate and pistachio biscuits from Michel's Fine Biscuits of Castlemaine, another great Australian company.  Sounds good, right?  The pistachios I had in my pantry happened to be product of New Zealand, which I thought was fortuitous for Anzac day too.  (Remember, it's ANZAC!)

So on Anzac day itself, I googled and I planned and I measured out all my ingredients and unwrapped the butter - only to be greeted by a strong stench of blue cheese.  Uh-oh!  I inspected the wrapper and realised the use by date had passed by a whole month!  D'oh!

Lemon Myrtle Butter
I ended up chucking it out, and was so annoyed at myself for not keeping an eye on the use-by date and letting the butter go to waste!  I've only heard good things about The Butter Factory butter, and will make sure to try it one day.

But you know what, I had all the other ingredients measured out, and I still had plain butter in the fridge, and I thought it would be an even bigger waste for me not to make the biscuits! So, bravely, I continued on.  In the recipe below, I've indicated ordinary unsalted butter, but if anyone gives these a go with lemon myrtle butter, do let me know how they turn out!
And here are my little biscuits, cooled, but before the ganache!

The ganache is a simple mixture of melted white chocolate with a little cream and the seeds from half a vanilla pod.  (Obviously be as generous or as tight as you like with the vanilla pods - I like to see lots of little flecks!)
white chocolate ganache
One biscuit...

and a sandwich!

Whoops! I clearly had to do a few little taste tests before taking this next photo!

So, I didn't get to try the lemon-myrtle butter, but these biscuits were still super delicious and definitely worth the time and effort - short and crumbly biscuits, giving way to the soft white chocolate filling.  White chocolate and pistachios are a match made in heaven!

Pistachio Shortbreads with White Chocolate Vanilla Bean Ganache
Biscuit recipe from Simon Rimmer, Ganache an original recipe from Sarah Cooks
Makes 30 biscuit sandwiches

For the shortbread
175g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
250g plain flour
75g shelled pistachios

For the ganache
2 cups white chocolate chips
4 tbs cream
1/2 vanilla pod

Preheat the oven to 180C.  To make the shortbread, place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the double blade, and pulse until it just comes together.  Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently to make a smooth dough. Roll the dough out to roughly 5mm thick, and cut into rounds with a floured 4cm cookie cutter, re-rolling scraps until all the dough is used up.  If you like, mark a decorative pattern into the biscuits before baking - I used the tip of a wooden citrus juicer.  
Place the biscuits onto lined trays, and bake for 8-12 minutes.  (Remember the biscuits will continue cooking as they cool down, so take them out of the oven when they look just underdone).  Lift the biscuits with an egg flip or spatula onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
To make the ganache, melt the chocolate either in a double boiler, or in the microwave on medium in one-minute bursts.  Stir in the cream and the scraped-out seeds from the vanilla pod.  Sandwich the biscuits with the ganache, and let the ganache set before eating them.  (If you can wait!)  Dust with icing sugar to serve.

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  1. I don't think I could have stopped at three. Shame about the butter, but I think you should purchase some more and make another batch ;)

  2. Oh no, what a shame about the butter but I know how you feel. I get annoyed at myself if I let anything go past its date too :) These look lovely and I love the pistachio in the shortbread :)

  3. I got sent some lovely butter, but I ended up having to chuck it out as I didn't have time to use it. Still feel awful.

    These cookies sound amazing though, perhaps I can try these with my newly acquired 10kgs of butter :)



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