Whilst the Rio Olympics sweep the nation, you might know that Bake Off starts in just under 2 weeks time on Wednesday 24th August. On Twitter, @kuskus1 and @Rob_C_Allen are hosting the #GBBOTwitterBakeAlong where the Twitter baking community will be baking along with the new series. Currently we are doing a few pre-bakes and from 10th August to 16th August, the theme is biscuits. I challenged myself to make a new recipe and I chose to make my own custard creams.
Custard creams are my favourite biscuit but these biscuits are essentially an enriched shortbread with the addition of custard powder making the biscuits brilliantly tender and sweet; custard powder itself is cornflour with added yellow food colouring and sugar and can be used in many bakes to make the products yellow and flavoursome. In keeping with shortbread tradition, the butter to sugar to flour ratio remains 2:1:3.
This recipe is adapted from Joanne Wheatley’s book A Passion for Baking. Jo uses a 6cm round or square cutter to cut out her biscuits; I used flower, heart and teddy bear cutters for these biscuits. Any shape cutter will work, just make sure that you have even numbers of each shape because you will need to sandwich these cookies together.
Here are some other biscuit recipes to get you inspired:
For the biscuits:
100g margarine or unsalted butter
50g granulated sugar
115g self-raising flour
35g custard powder
For the custard cream filling:
40g unsalted butter
150g icing sugar, plus extra to finish
20g custard powder
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp milk
Cream together the margarine and sugar until it is well mixed and a few shades lighter. Add in the flour and custard powder and use a spatula to fold the biscuit dough together. It should be soft but not sticky.
Transfer to a large sheet of baking parchment on your work surface and top with another sheet. Roll out the biscuit dough until it is 5mm thick. Because the dough is so soft, it won’t take too long to get it to the right thickness.
Dip your choice of cutter into some flour and stamp out as many biscuits from the rolled out dough as possible. A good tip is to remove as much of the extra dough as you can and using the parchment to turn the biscuit onto your hand before placing it onto a parchment lined baking tray. Avoid touching the edges which may distort the shape. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat using up the rest of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes until they have turned a light golden colour around the edges and look set. Leave to cool on the trays for 20 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
For the custard cream filling, mix together all of the ingredients until you have a thick, spreadable golden paste that is sweet and creamy, adding more milk if it feels too dry or thick.
To assemble the biscuits, spread a 5mm layer of the custard cream filling onto one biscuit half, spreading it towards the edge. Sandwich the biscuits together and fill any of the gaps in with more of the filling. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.