Artist’s Palate: Richard Woods’ choc mock-Tudor biscuits
Often with our back page recipe, we have to stretch the ol’ recipe-as-metaphor-for-the-artist’s-work to breaking point (and sometimes well past it, too). But not so this month; artist Richard Woods has produced a dish actually modelled on his own work. Well known for his faux house renovations and his signature multicoloured woodgrain patterns, he has served up a biscuit recipe with its own mock-Tudor panelling. Woods, who created a limited edition cover for W*117 in 2008, is a fan of surface manipulations and home décor makeover shows. He transformed a SoHo gallery into a black and white mock-Tudor installation, and then did the same for art collector Adam Lindemann’s house in Woodstock, New York. So his shock-mock-Tudor style is found in unlikely places, which is sort of the point. Now you can dip a Woods-inspired piece of art in your tea. Not something you can say about many artworks.
200g caster sugar
500g plain flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1 dessertspoon cocoa
1 dessertspoon caster sugar
1 bar dark chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and beat the caster sugar and butter until soft and fluffy. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder, then mix with the sugar and butter until the mixture has a dough-like consistency. Take a third of this dough and mix in the cocoa and extra sugar (this will be the Tudor panelling). Chill all the dough in the fridge for 10 mins.
Take two-thirds of the plain dough and roll out on a floured surface until about 4cm thick. Cut out round biscuits and place on a baking tray covered in a little flour.
Take the remaining cocoa-coloured dough out of the fridge and roll out as before. Cut the cocoa-coloured dough into the same shape as the bases, then cut out Tudor-shaped decoration and place on the bases. Bake in the oven for 15 mins.
Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Take the cooked shortbread out of the oven and drizzle the cocoa-coloured patterns with the melted chocolate to give an extra choc mock-Tudor look.
Photography: Stephen Lenthall