Friday, 25 July 2014

Homemade Custard Creams


Homemade Heart Shaped Custard Creams from Nigella Feast

I am the last person you'd find turning up their nose at a shop-bought biscuit, but there's no denying that ones made at home are a hundred times better.There's something extra-special about baking something that you'd usually expect to buy, and I love making these custard creams for an (unbelievably) easy little treat that always seems to impress people. Plus, I feel delightfully old-fashioned whipping out the Bird's Custard Powder! 

Nigella Feast cover

The recipe is from Nigella's Feast, one of my all-time favourite cookbooks, and I haven't needed to tweak or adapt it in the slightest, no matter how many times I bake these. I always think they are perfection. 


Picture of flour and custard powder
Butter diced on Emma Bridgewater plate

Ingredients

Makes 14-15 biscuits

Biscuits:
175g Plain Flour
3tbsp Birds Custard Powder
1tsp Baking Powder
50g Unsalted Butter
50g Vegetable Shortening (I use Trex. If you wanted to use all-butter instead you could, but the biscuits would lose their melt-in-the-mouth crumbliness!)
3tbsp Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1tbsp Milk

Custard:
1tbsp Birds Custard Powder
100g Icing Sugar
50g Soft Unsalted Butter
1tsp Boiling Water

Heart-shaped biscuits on tray
To make the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 180, or Gas Mark 4. Then, using a food processor, whizz up the dry ingredients for a moment to make sure they are all blended together. Next, add the butter (cut into little cubes) and Trex (in teaspoon-sized mounds), and pulse again. The mixture should be crumbly at this point. 

To bring the mixture together, whisk up the egg with a tablespoon of milk, and add it bit by bit to the processor. If you can run your machine at the same time, do so, as you'll be able to stop adding egg the moment your dough comes together in a ball. My processor doesn't work that way, so I just add it a little at a time. You might not need all of the liquid, but I usually use most of it. Make the dough into a ball, pat it into a fat disc, and wrap it in clingfilm. Now you need to pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up - time to do that washing up!

When it's time to take out the dough, lightly flour your surface and roll it out. Nigella says a 4mm thickness, but let's face it, you don't need to get your ruler out. Cut into the shape you like best (you'll get 28-30ish), and if you want little dots around the edges now is the time to make them. Nigella uses a corn on the cob holder; I have no such implement, and get by with a cocktail stick or skewer just fine. Pop them in the oven for 15 minutes, and keep a close eye on them. When they are out, and cool, you can start sandwiching them with the custard!

To make the custard:
This is the easiest filling ever! Just pop the icing sugar, custard powder and butter in the processor, and whizz together to make a buttercream. Next, add the boiling water and pulse again, watching as your mixture goes a lovely shade of yellow.

Sandwich pairs of biscuits together with the custard, being careful not to break them. They are quite crumbly, so I take Nigella's advice here and put one teaspoon of custard onto one biscuit, then wiggle another on top. 


Homemade Custard Creams from Nigella Feast

Everyone I have ever given these biscuits to has loved them - they are a guaranteed winner! They really do have the most divine crumbly texture that melts in the mouth, and the custard-y taste seems to induce both nostalgia and greediness for more! I think they look so sweet and rustic, and I like not having to worry about them looking too perfect - that's all part of their charm. I've given this whole batch to my grandad, as he's having some treatment at the minute and is losing a lot of weight, but my boyfriend and I are left with an unsatisfied craving. Looks like I might need to get out the custard powder again...





5 comments:

  1. They really are so easy! The food processor does it all for you! You must let me know if you give them a try. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! x

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  2. Wow they look lovely! I've never baked custard creams before because I thought the filling would be hard to replicate but these look quite simple. Thanks. Looks like I will be adding custard powder to my shopping list this week!

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  3. These look so delicious! Homemade biscuits are definitely SO much better than shop bought. Also, I have that exact cutlery, engraved with my name, from when I was little! Does your also have a fork with a kangaroo and spoon with a bunny? :) x

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  4. Oh my goodness, really?! I only have the knife, the rest was lost long ago. I do remember the bunny spoon though! I love that knife, I don't have many things from when I was small, teddies or anything, so I've always kept that little giraffe knife safe :) x

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  5. Ooooh I'll definitely be trying this soon! Look so cute! Love your blog. X

    http://www.brookdellar.co.uk

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