Everyone needs a party piece when it comes to baking. It should be something that you can make quickly with a minimum of fuss and ingredients, but delivers maximum impact. When I saw Mary-Anne Boermans bake some tiny, dainty biscuits on BBC's The Great British Bake Off, I was intrigued. She used a minimum of ingredients, 5 to be exact, but the judges oohed and aahed over the results.
I found Mary-Anne's recipe on her blog, Time to Cook - Online, and the more I read, the more I liked. The biscuits are super adaptable, delicious served plain, but also capable of being dolled up with buttercream or filling of your choice. They go especially well with coffee.
|My version of Mary-Anne's Melting Moments|
250g unsalted butter, room temperature
58g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250g plain flour
Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius for fan-assisted ovens, or 200 Celsius for conventional ovens. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl, beat the butter for several minutes until pale and creamy. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and continue to beat for another minute or two until well incorporated. It is worth having the butter as soft as possible before starting as this is the main source of liquid in the recipe. The softer the butter is, the easier it will be to pipe the biscuits.
Add the vanilla essence and quickly beat in.
Sift the flour and cornflour into the bowl and beat well until mixed in. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that all dry ingredients are incorporated into the mixture.
Once ready, fit a wide star nozzle to a strong piping bag (preferably canvas) and fill with the mixture. Pipe evenly onto the baking sheets. Placing a template guide under the greaseproof paper will help you produce even results. Depending on your piping skill level, you can pipe swirls or simple stars, as in my photo above.
Mary-Anne recommends placing the baking sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm the mixture before baking, but I don't have the freezer space to do this, and my biscuits have turned out pretty good without. Place into the oven and bake for approx 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for a few minutes to harden. They are too delicate to move while still hot from the oven. Once cool, transfer gently with a palette knife to a wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy on their own, or sandwich together with fillings such as jam, buttercream, chocolate or caramel. Only your imagination will limit you.
|Melting Moments sandwiched with chocolate buttercream|