26 June 2014

Melting Moments

I have been meaning to bake these melting moments for a while, as I wanted to try out my new piping bag and set of nozzles - yes, my life really is that exciting! I'm sure the bakers among you will understand my eagerness.

These biscuits are also perfect for June; I think they fit in with the whole British summertime/Wimbledon/high tea ideal, don't you think?

I slightly adapted a recipe from one of the Great British Bake Off books - people who know me laugh at just how much I love GBBO! Melting moments are from How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets. (It's currently £10 on Amazon!)

I won't lie; I did find these quite fiddly to make in terms of piping the buttery biscuit mix. Apart from that, I think the rest of the method is fairly simple - but it did take me most of the afternoon, as you have to allow time for the various mixtures to cool.

So let's get to it! In terms of ingredients, these biscuits require a LOT of butter.

Ingredients (For 16 pairs) 
(I actually made 14 pairs of varying sizes with these quantities)

For the biscuits -
250g unsalted butter, softened (Make sure it's softened, very important!)
60g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g plain flour
60g cornflour
Icing sugar for dusting

For the filling -
125ml full-fat or semi-skimmed milk
2 tablespoons plain flour
125g caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam (I actually used my godmother's homemade strawberry and blackberry jam - it works just as well I think)

Equipment -
Weighing scales
Mixing bowl
Electric mixer, or wooden spoon (I'm lazy - it's electric mixer all the way for me!)
2 baking sheets lined with baking paper
Wire rack
Piping bag
Star tube


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350° F/gas mark 4. Using your electric mixer or wooden spoon, beat the butter with the icing sugar until pale and fluffy, then add the vanilla and beat for a few seconds.

2. Sift the flour and cornflour together into the bowl and mix until smooth.

3. Spoon the biscuit mixture into the piping bag, and pipe into 32 swirls on the baking sheets (like I said, I only piped 28 swirls). The recipe recommends that each swirl should be about 5cm across and 2.5cm high - mine were definitely of varying sizes! Chill these in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm.

4. Bake the biscuits for about 12 minutes or until they are pale golden - mine took about 16 minutes. Leave for a few minutes on the baking sheets to set slightly, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5. It's time to make the filling! Heat the milk with the flour in your saucepan, whisking constantly until the mixture boils and thickens. I'd be doing it for about 8 minutes, looked away for a minute and it was suddenly thick - so keep an eye on it! The recipe says to whisk over a very low heat for a minute to cook out the taste of the flour - I kept sniffing it, and it still smelled a bit of flour when I took it off the heat, but didn't taste of it ultimately. Pour this mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film to prevent a skin from forming, and leave until completely cold. This mixture was thicker than I expected it to be, and took about half an hour to cool.

6. Beat together the sugar and butter until very pale and fluffy, for 10 minutes if beating by hand, or 4 minutes with an electric mixer. Add the thickened milk mixture, and beat until light, creamy and almost white. Add the vanilla. If the mixture is very soft, you can cover and chill it until it is firm enough to pipe - I didn't need to do this personally.

7. Time to assemble the melting moments! Spread a little jam on the bases of half the biscuits. Like I said, I used my Austrian godmother's homemade strawberry and blackberry jam. Delicious!

The original recipe recommends using seedless raspberry jam; use whatever you fancy.

8. Pipe small swirls of the creamy filling onto the bases of the remaining biscuits, and sandwich the pairs together. If you have two piping bags, great - it means you don't have to wash one up half way through!

OK, OK, I'll admit - I piped quite large swirls! What can I say, I like a generous helping.

Lightly dust your sandwiched pairs with icing sugar, et voila - melting moments.

Let me know if you have a go at baking melting moments, and send me your pics on Twitter (@secretmaggiemay) They really are yummy!

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