There’s no doubt that when taking food-related inspiration from the dress I’m wearing, my mind usually skips right to sweet treats. Cakes, cookies, anything involving a cup of sugar and an oven- dresses are made for the fun things! And sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with taking the easy way out.
I picked up this vintage dress on a trip to Melbourne a couple of years ago, during one of my black-out trips to Retrostar on Flinders Lane. You know, the kind of trips where you wander in for a quick browse and later wake up as you stumble through your hotel room door, burdened with bags (but with a mysteriously lighter purse) and with no idea where the last two hours went.
Red and white always makes me think of one of baking’s great combinations, raspberries and white chocolate. Or raspberries and macadamias. Or all of the above. Not wanting anyone to feel left out, I went for the latter. For a short while I was stuck on what to make that contained these ingredients (too much choice isn’t always a good thing), until I remembered a little melting moment recipe from this year’s series of Masterchef. I’d bought the ingredients months ago with the intention of veganising it, and had never gotten around to it. But you know what they say- there’s no time like MoFo time (I’m sure someone says it).
These little biscuits were well-hyped during Masterchef, and I have to admit that they deserve every word of praise. Even in their dairy-free form, these melt in your mouth (and crumble to dust in your hand if you’re not careful, as I learned the hard way). The biscuits themselves are fairly simple, so I opted to amp up the filling a bit- changing the traditional vanilla frosting to a white chocolate macadamia buttercream. Perfect with homemade raspberry jam.
As these are so delicate, they’re probably not the biscuits to take to a meeting at work (it’s not just me that takes baked goods to their meetings, right?)- a shame, since they’re pretty adorably impressive-looking. They require some care not only in the assembly, but also in the eating. Of course, if you’re willing to sacrifice some dignity for deliciousness, then tuck right in… or do as Chadwiko did, and eat half the batch in rapid succession, over the sink.
- For the biscuits:
- 180g vegan margarine
- 60g icing sugar
- 60g custard powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 180g flour
- For the buttercream:
- 170g vegan white chocolate
- 1/2 cup vegan shortening, margarine or a combination of the two (I used about half of each)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons macadamia butter
- Raspberry jam to serve
- Servings: 14 melting moments
- Difficulty: easy
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Cream the margarine with a hand- or stand-mixer until fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and custard powder, and beat to combine. Add the baking powder and flour and mix well.
- Roll the dough into small balls around the size of a heaped teaspoon (I got 28 balls), and place on a baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly with the back of a fork, leaving an indent. If the dough is too soft to roll into balls, pop it into the fridge for about ten minutes and try again.
- Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes, until light golden. Let stand on the baking tray for five minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
- In the meantime, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler and set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening/margarine, icing sugar and salt. Fold in the cooled white chocolate, then the macadamia butter. Mix well and set aside at room temperature (the chocolate will cause the buttercream to firm up if left in a cool place, such as the fridge).
- Once the biscuits have fully cooled, gently spread a teaspoon of raspberry jam on the flat side of one biscuit, before piping buttercream on top. Gently place the flat side of another biscuit on top and press to close.
- Match up all the biscuit halves with their partners, then put on your best high tea dress and enjoy!