Thank goodness the ovens have been turned off! In truly English fashion I dont do well in the heat, I prefer a sunny spring to a sweltering summer so baking in this heatwave is not my ideal way of spending the day. Whilst doing the supermarket run I may even have spent a little longer than is strictly necessary in the refrigerated aisles, choosing a brand of butter never seemed so relaxing. I am lucky that whilst things have been baking I am able to chill out on my terrace with rather too much iced coffee and I suspect it is this that is keeping me sane, well up to a certain point anyway. If you are baking in this heat rather than whipping up a batch of ice cream then I think something like these Melting Moments will really hit the mark, they are so easy to make and take no time at all to get in the oven.
I used to sell these at my Maltby St Market stall and whilst they were not the first thing people bought it was often one of the treats people kept coming back for, time and time again. You can make these in almost any flavour that springs to mind, there was talk on twitter of making a PB&J version and in the past I have made a Red Velvet version, which was very cute indeed! I recently came across freeze dried fruit powders from Sous Chef and I suspect these would make a brilliant use for the powders, something I will be trying out very soon.
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
250g plain flour
85g icing sugar
40g custard powder
1/4 tsp salt
75g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 160C (140C fan) and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Place the butter and vanilla into a large bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy. Sift the remaining ingredients into the bowl and gently mix together until you form a uniform dough, this can easily be done either by hand with a wooden spoon or with a mixer.
Using your hands roll the dough into small balls (I weigh these, 20g each) and place onto the prepared trays leaving a couple of inches between each biscuit. Using a fork dipped in flour press the fork onto the centre of each biscuit leaving an indent.
Bake the biscuits in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until uniformly coloured. These shouldnt brown around the edges (due to the slightly lower temperature) so if you want to confirm they are fully baked flip one over, there should be a uniform golden colour across the base. If there is a darker, almost damp looking patch in the middle pop them back in the oven for a few minutes.
Allow to cool on the baking trays for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Whilst cooling make the buttercream. Place the butter into a large bowl and beat together until smooth and creamy, then slowly add in the icing sugar a little at a time, beating until fully combined. Once you have added all the sugar add the vanilla and salt and beat together until light and fluffy.
To assemble the biscuits place the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a small plain piping tip a pipe a circle of buttercream around the edges of half the biscuits. Fill the hole left behind with some raspberry jam and top with a second biscuit. These will keep well for around four days in a sealed container.