It's been a million years since I've put up a cooking post. It's not that I'm trying to focus this blog on restaurant reviews. The fact is, I just don't cook that much! As someone who works full time and lives alone, I can't be smucked whipping up fancy creations on a daily basis. My normal routine comprises of mixing things together and eating it as a salad. In these colder months, I take it up a notch by incorporating the microwave or toaster. Occasionally, the stove top is utilized for cooking oats.
That aside, cooking is more than just a stomach-filling task. Baking, in particular, used to be a source of great joy to me. Baking is therapeutic and rewarding and it's something that I had been meaning to get back into. I'd gone for so long without doning my baking cap that I was short on just about every necessary ingredient imaginable. It took a lot of expensive restocking to get the pantry right again. Then, I had to buy some new trays and an electric scale, since my old ones had gone missing when I moved house.
Finally, when all those tasks were complete, I was ready to bake again.
The recipe I chose to reinitiate myself with was one that sparked my interest the moment I saw it. I had been watching every episode of this season's Masterchef religiously. For those who have done the same, you'll be familiar with Julia (aka 'the Dessert Queen', as they like to remind us every time her name is mentioned) and her signature melting moments. I drooled at my screen when I saw them first presented and eagerly Googled the recipe the next day. Praise the lord it was published on the website and remarkably, didn't seem too difficult to follow either. Plus, what better way is there to mark the end of the season?
I followed the recipe from the Masterchef website. I made my biscuits much smaller (about 24 in total for 12 sandwiched end products). I definitely recommend doing this because they are so incredibly rich that any bigger and you'll find people choking in gluttinous enjoyment. I also didn't have any vanilla bean paste so I used vanilla bean extract in the frosting. I recommend making the jam beforehand because it takes a while to cool down and set. By the way, you get a lot more jam than is needed so start brainstorming ways to use jam.
Julia's Melting Moments
Makes 12 sandwiched biscuits
For the biscuits
- 180g unsalted butter, softened
- 60g icing sugar, sifted
- 60g custard powder, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 180g plain flour, sifted
- icing sugar, to serve
- 250g fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen)
- 250g caster sugar
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tsp gelatine powder
- 100g butter, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used the same amount of vanilla extract)
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1. To make the biscuits, first preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a couple of cookie trays with baking paper.
2. In a stand mixer, cream the butter for 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar and custard powder and mix until combined.
5. Gently press a fork into the top of each ball to flatten slightly.
7. Rest in the trays for 5min before turning out onto the wire racks to cool completely.
10. Cool the jam in the fridge before use.
13. You may dust with icing sugar before serving.
Overall, this recipe was simple to follow. I've made melting moments before and eaten plenty in my time but these were just so rediculously soft and short... exactly what they claim to be.
This was the first time I have ever made jam. It was fairly easy! I now have an excess of raspberry jam that I'm not sure what to do with. Scones next week I think. I've read comments online saying the jam is uneccessary and can be omitted. I disagree! I think that the butteriness of the biscuit and the butteriness of the frosting is overwhelming when paired. The tart, sticky jam is EXACTLY what the ensemble needs to bring it from 'tasty but cloying' to 'perfection in a biscuit'
The step I found most difficult was piping the buttercream onto the biscuit. I really need piping lessons. I struggled heaps. Piping is not my forte. I gave it my best shot then resorted to simply spreading the buttercream with a knife. It looked terrible but what can I say, I have my limitations.
I recommend you give Julia's recipe a go. Jam is not a conventional inclusion in melting moments, which makes hers somewhat like a monte carlo biscuit. Whatever they technically are (a melting monte carlo perhaps?), they are AMAZING.