Flour-dusted benches; afternoon light; birds singing outside the kitchen window and the little man is sleeping soundly. I have stopped mid-way through making a batch of melting moments to write this as I wanted to put down into words right away the immense joy and happiness it brings me to be doing just as I am doing right now in this moment and that is creating in my kitchen.
As my hands dance with the soft, buttery dough, rolling it into balls and placing them onto the baking trays in their neat little rows, a floured fork mark across each one ready to work their magic in the oven. our home will be filled with sweet, buttery smells that will have our mouths watering and our tastebuds eagerly awaiting.
They will then be allowed to cool on the bench awaiting their final dressing of piped buttercream swirls and sandwiched together to which they will then be eaten with every ounce of joy as they melt away every so softly in our mouths.
The kitchen is called the heart of the home for a very good reason and it sure has a big chunk of room in my heart. Which gets me thinking that our hearts must have an infinite amount of space in them to have room to love so many different aspects of life!
With flecks of vanilla bean and the lovely lightness that comes from the use of the custard powder they were yet another favourite at AMK amongst many. We used to call the filling "goo" and would mark the labels on the containers as melting "goo" or Monty "goo" (for the Monte Carlos) If anyone who didn't know what we were on about looked through the fridge at the café I am sure they would look slightly puzzled! Some of the staff used to get quite creative.........
The 35g weight that I have given for each biscuit to be is purely just a guide, as these do make quite a largish biscuit!! I have been told by a rather lovely lady who did some photography at AMK that they are the size of a human head! So please feel free to perhaps make them the size of a small child's head instead.......I'll leave it up to you.
Makes approx. 10-12 human head sized biscuits and for some reason I always seem to have 1 extra half, to which Ben always gets.
1 cup self-raising flour, sometimes I tend to add a little more if the dough is a bit too sticky.
1 cup custard powder
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 tbsp. sifted icing sugar
For the buttercream filling
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
165g sifted icing sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees.
Get two baking trays ready lined with baking paper.
Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until its lovely and light and fluffy, it will almost look as though it is silky smooth. Now sift the flour and custard powder into the bowl and stir it all together. This is where you can check to see if you do need that extra flour. Pick up a small amount and rub it between your hands as if you are rolling it into a ball, if it is sticking too much to them then add a bit more and stir to combine again.
Weigh each biscuit out to 35g or smaller if you wish. I know weighing each one may seem a bit tedious but it really doesn't take any time at all and it makes every single one the same size so when you come to putting them together they match perfectly.
Roll them into a ball and place them onto the trays. leaving enough room in between each one so they are spaced out. tip a little flour onto the bench and rub the tip of the fork into it and then simply press lightly onto each biscuit to form the ridges.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they feel slightly firm when touched lightly. Take them out and allow to cool for 15 minutes at room temperature. I then pop them into the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, this makes them so much easier to handle.
Whilst you are waiting for them, make the filling by putting everything into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it all together for at least 5 minutes. Scrape it all out into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and when the biscuits are cold enough to handle pipe a swirl onto the flat side of half the biscuits and then sandwich together with the remaining half.
Enjoy as part of an afternoon or morning tea either by yourself with a good book and a cup of tea or with someone who brings out the best in you. And create moments that will make memories. xx