Hello and very happy new year to you all my toasted coconut flakes ! I hope you are all having a jollibob of a 2018 so far and are looking forward to a year as jam packeroodled with baking as my tummy is with Christmas chocolate.
As I do every year I have made many a resolution to try and make myself a better human bean. However, this year I had rather a long ponder to try and think of some resolutions I knew I would have a good chance of keeping (RIP to any chance of becoming a lean mean vegan cheese eating queen!). So after my little pondering session I had decided that the following resolutions would be just dandy:
1. Read 6 books – To widen the imagination and let creativity flourish (p.s reading the Mary Berry Baking Bible doesn’t count!)
2. Improve posture – Because having grace and elegance leaves no reason for others to believe that you aren’t a real princess.
3. Try 12 new foods – To explore new flavours and find new favourites…and also to combat a serious bagel addiction I have.
4. Make time for friends and family – Life is too short not to enjoy time with the people who make you happy.
5. Be more Hygge – A Danish term which describes the feeing of utter coziness.
It is this last resolution which I want to tell you a little more about today. The idea of Hygge is one that I think is truly splendid! It’s a tricky little term to define and is all about feelings rather than things . For me it can only be best described as that blissful feeling of being wrapped up by a fireside with a warm cup of tea and a plate of cookies nestled on your lap, whilst the rain lashes outside your window. Feeling Hygge can be different for everybody. For some it might be about having a giggle with great friends and enjoying scrummy food, whilst for others it might be just a moment of tranquillity whilst nibbling a flapjack and reading a book in the tiniest nook of ones kitchen.
So inspired by hygge, I’m starting this chilly Janvier with a cosy bake which is the perfect little pick me up for those dark winter afternoons when all we want is to do it to snuggle away from the cold. With the warmth of ginger and sweetness of caramel, my sandwich biscuits are the perfect remedy to banish January blues and to leave only feelings of peace and tummy happiness.
The biscuits themselves are a firery gingerbread which bakes with a nice crisp crunch thats ideal for dunking. However, give it a couple of days and the rich caramel buttercream begins to soften the biscuit leaving it chewy and even more heavenly than the day it was baked. What I love most about these little morsels though, is the ooze of caramel which squirts out from the centre like a golden hot spring with every bite.
You can use any shape to cut out the centres of these biscuits or even use glasses and cookie stamps to imprint designs onto the surface to create whatever pattern you fancy. The recipe also makes around 20-24 biscuits , with extra dough to make other tasty delights to keep that cosiness flowing for as long as possible.
But however we choose to experience Hygge, whether that be baking or having drinks with friends, I think it’s important that during our busy lives we all take some time to look after our little selves and to be truly relaxed and cosy.
Enjoy my lovelies and I’ll see you all soon angelcakes xx
For the biscuits
175g dark muscovado sugar
85g golden syrup or honey
350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbps ground ginger
For the filling
75g softened butter
150g icing sugar
3 tbsp Dulce de leche (I used carnation caramel)
50g white chocolate
sprinkles to decorate
Stage 1 : Biscuits
1.Melt the sugar, syrup and butter together in a small over a low heat then leave to cool.
2. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl. Add the melted syrup mixture along with the egg and mix it all together to make a dough. Knead until smooth and then wrap firmly in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°c/180°c Fan/Mark 6 and line 2-3 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
4. Roll your dough out on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Using a 5cm round cutter, cut out rounds, rerolling the dough until you have 48 rounds in total. For 24 of the rounds use a small star cutter to cut out the centre each biscuit. These will be the biscuit tops!
5. Place the biscuits on the prepared trays and bake for 10 minutes, making sure to turn the trays round half way through baking. Leave the biscuits to firm up on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.
Stage 2: Buttercream
1. Beat the softened butter and icing sugar together using an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Then add 1 tbsp of the caramel and continue to beat until smooth and well incorporated.
2. Place the buttercream in a piping bag and snip off the end to make a hole big enough to pipe small blobs of icing.
Stage 3: Assembly
1.Turn each of the biscuit bases (the ones without stars) upside down and then using the piping bag, pipe blobs of buttercream round the edge of each base to create a ring of buttercream blobs. Using a teaspoon, spoon a small amount of the remaining caramel into the centre of each ring before sandwiching with the biscuit tops.
2. Melt the white chocolate in bowl placed over a pan of simmering water. Put the chocolate into a piping bag and cut the end off to create a small hole. Drizzle the chocolate over each biscuit and sprinkle with sprinkles or lustre dust. Enjoy!