Sunday, 30 September 2012

Orange Butter Biscuits and my new toy

These biscuits were a trip down memory lane. My mother used to make them in her light blue Sawa 71 for years until it broke in the late-80s.

After she passed on, I found the Sawa 71 tucked away at the back of her baking cupboard. It was in pristine condition and kept in its original box. However, the Sawa was well and truly broken.

There was nothing left to do but throw it away, despite not wanting to. Still, I wanted to hang on to it in some way, so I kept the metal discs which used to press out all my favourite biscuit shapes as a child. Hoping that one day I would be able to use it to press the same shapes out again. Of course, I put it away and forgot about it until... today!

Last week on a visit to Pastry Pro for some vanilla, I picked-up a Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Press. Yesterday I tried it out with a simple butter biscuit recipe which worked beautifully.

This evening, just as I was about to put the washed and cleaned Cookie Press away, I remembered the metal discs I'd saved. They fit the Cookie Press perfectly and I am SO pleased. I've washed and cleaned them all. They are now lying on a towel air-drying in the kitchen. I cannot wait to use them. Perhaps next weekend when I have some time again.

Meanwhile, here's the recipe for yesterday's butter biscuits. It is quite a versatile dough, so you can flavour it as you like. I'm going to try making some chocolate biscuits next!

Adapted from Obsessed with Baking

8 ounces Salted Butter, just softened
3 ounces Icing Sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Egg Yolk
10 ounces Plain Flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
Grated zest of 1 large Orange

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 10 seconds. Add in salt, egg yolk, essence, paste and zest and cream for 5 seconds. Gently fold in flour by hand, just until all the flour is absorbed into the creamed mixture. Set aside. Follow manufacturer's instructions to prepare the Cookie Press with your favourite shaped disc. (You can change disc shapes in between batches) Fill the Cookie Press with the prepared biscuit dough and press out shapes accordingly onto a baking tray. Chill the pressed out dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Bake in a moderate oven for about 20 - 25 minutes until the biscuits are barely golden. (I baked my biscuits at 145 Celsius and switched the trays around midway for even baking) Leave to cool completely on the tray and store in an airtight container.  

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Happy Birthday Mummy!

One day late. I'd never baked for her birthday when she was alive, but I'd like to think that it isn't too late. Started at 7.30am this morning and done two hours later. I'm happy with them. They're homey and pretty. Beautiful cakes for a beautiful soul.


Grate the zest of a Whole Orange into a large bowl. Add in 4 ounces of Softened Butter, 2 ounces of Caster Sugar and 3 tablespoons of your best Marmalade (homemade is what I used). Mix well with an electric mixer. Add in 2 Whole Eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Fold in 4 ounces of Self-Raising Flour and a 60g packet of Ground Almonds. When mixture is thoroughly combined, divide into 12 cupcake cases and bake for about 20 minutes at 160 Celsius. Cupcakes are done once a skewer poked through the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Take some sieved Icing Sugar, Softened Butter and Orange Essence. Mix well together with a spoon. Icing should be just the right texture for spreading with a pallet knife and not runny. Spread the icing over the cupcakes and flatten it out over the cakes. Finish off with a sugar flower each and a light sprinkling of tiny silver dragees.

Happy Birthday Mummy!