Artist's Palate: Richard Woods' choc mock-Tudor biscuits

Richard Woods’ choc mock-Tudor biscuits
(Image credit: Stephen Lenthall)

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
450g butter
500g plain flour
1/2tsp salt
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

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms