This weekend was a busy one. On Saturday we had to be at a black tie event by 5pm and I was so nervous about dressing up for it that I had to start drinking around 1ish. On Sunday I had to catch up on housework, make a roast and get some down time squeezed in to set me up for this week. What I’m doing here, if you can’t tell, is making excuses for how basic my bake is this week. You know I love to dazzle you, but sometimes a girl just needs to scrape by on the bare minimum, you know?
So here I am again with a signature bake cop out. I made filled biscuits, and not particularly exciting ones, either. They were what sprung to mind while I was watching the show because I got a special British biscuit classics cookie cutter well over a year ago and still had never used it – this is classic me, as you are well aware. I think that’s one of my favourite things about the bake along, it allows me to do those little things I’ve been thinking about trying all year but have never found a good excuse to give the time to.
I’m sure you’ll all be very eager to find out where you can find a cookie cutter with which to make your very own custard creams, so I’ll happily point you in the right direction. The lovely people at Steamer Trading sent me this one over all that time ago, and you’ll be happy to know that they still have it in stock for £11.99 (it’s a set of four, allowing you to also make bourbons, jammy dodgers and party rings, what a time to be alive). The brand is Dexam, and you can find a link here, if you’d like to snap one up for yourself.
In terms of the usability of the cutter, I think it’s a knack. It took me a while to get it right, and still I don’t think I quite mastered it. This is in part down to laziness, I suspect that if I’d been prepared to properly chill the dough before rolling out, I might have had an easier time of it. However, my room temperature dough kept sticking to the cutter, meaning I had to double press it down and end up with slightly misshapen designs here and there. It’s a very clever little contraption. It’s just the one object, and you can stamp out a rectangle with it first (for the bottom half of the biscuit), then stamp another rectangle but push down on the top of the cutter to imprint the custard cream design. As I said, retrieving it from the cutter once you’ve done that second stamp can be challenging, so I recommend that you do chill your dough extensively.
I looked at a few recipes for homemade custard creams, and eventually settled on this one from Christina Cucina’s blog. The great thing about online recipes is that you can scroll down through the comments and find out whether or not other people have been successful with them, and there were a lot of happy bakers in the comments section of this recipe. I stayed true to it almost entirely, but added whisky to the buttercream because I am a pure sucker for whisky buttercream. If you don’t know, get to know.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with this as a quickfire bake. Would it have gotten me a handshake from Hollywood if I was in the tent? No. Would playing it this safe have gotten me ousted from the show? Almost definitely. Did the biscuits make everyone who ate them make satisfying noises of sheer enjoyment? Yes. So, successes have been made.