Happy New Year! Hope you all had a good one. Mine was fairly standard. We’ve been going to a comedy club in Newcastle for the last few years which is always a good laugh. Plus it’s a chance to catch up with the bestie, who brought me some lovely homemade sloe gin (perfect for topping up that prosecco!) and rosehip jelly which I can’t wait to try! Thanks Sophie!
So what are your new years resolutions? I think mine are pretty much the same as they have been for the last 3 years or so. Learn to drive and stop biting my nails!! Will 2014 be the year… probably not. But this year I’d like to focus more on goals as well.
I’ve been following the blog Bucket List Publications for a while now and find it so inspiring. Lesley who writes the blog has changed her life in order to make the most of every single day with the ethos ‘Some people make a bucket list because they are dying, I have made one because I want to live’. It’s something I really admire and would love to try and take a leaf from this year! Live everyday to the fullest as it were! So on that note my list of goals for the year are:
Move house! – Don’t get me wrong I love my house but we’re getting to the stage where we are ready to move. Plus we would quite like a project house to really make our own!
Work on this blog – I really want to try and post once a week minimum! And I promise to try my hardest. I love reading all your comments and becoming part of the blogging community so I will defo be keeping it up!
Go to Mexico – I’ve been working on an itinerary for a Central Mexico and New York trip for a while now. One with a street food tour around central Mexico no less. Would seriously love to spend some time there and get deeper into the food culture there. Plus New York wooo!
Learn at least 3 new crafts! – So far this is going well. I spent my last day off mastering paper cutting – rather than starting with the easy stuff I dove straight in and am pretty happy with the results – check them out below 🙂 Plus I’ve already got plans for my second of the year. Number 3 – possibly crochet but we will see. I’ve never met a craft yet I didn’t like so I’m sure I’ll find something! Suggestions welcome.
Do more – This should really be ‘leave the house more’. I’m defo a home body, but then just think, if I left the house more I would have so much less time for cooking and crafting…hmmm maybe not then!
So that’s my 2014 planned. I hope you’ve got some lovely plans of your own and I’d love to hear them.
Well I’ll stop rambling on now and get onto the actual cooking part of the blog! So the custard cream – undeniably the most quintessentially British biscuit there is. I don’t know a single person who didn’t grow up on these. They are probably the perfect dipping biscuit – crisp, just soaking up enough of the liquid to soften them and sandwiched with a delicious creamy filling. Tea of course would be traditional (Yorkshire, obviously!) but I have to admit coffee is more my choice! Feel free to variate on the dipping liquid choice.
They are a very simple biscuit to make and don’t require any fancy ingredients – except custard powder which I’m sure everyone has lurking around somewhere! Traditionally they should be square but I’ve gone for rounds so feel free to make them whatever shape you would like! I’ve adapted the recipe from one I found over at Love and Olive Oil – changing the amount of flour as I just found it far too much for the mixture to come together in the original. I’ve also choosen to use fresh vanilla purely as that’s what I had – if you would like to substitute vanilla extract use a good tsp both in the biscuits and the filling!
This will make about 12 8cm diameter biscuits (once paired and filled) – feel free to make smaller if you don’t have men in your house who complain if you make small biscuit! But remember to knock a few minutes of the cooking time if you do!
Homemade Custard Creams:
135g Caster Sugar
Seeds of 1 Vanilla Pod
16 Tbsp Custard Powder
180g Plain Flour
Seeds 1 Vanilla Pod
2 Tbsp Custard Powder
120g Icing Sugar
Oven 180C/350F/Gas 4
the biscuits cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until soft and fluffy. They should be much lighter in colour when you finish and well brought together. Add the custard powder and flour and bring together with a spoonbriefly before getting your hands in there to bring them together to form a dough.
Flour your work surface well and roll out your dough – you only want it about half a cm thick so get it nice and thin! Use a glass or cutter of your choice to cut out your rounds and move them to baking sheets lined with baking paper. They don’t spread or rise much at all so you don’t need too much space between them, but give them a little just to be safe
Bake for 12-14 minutes – they should be just firm to the touch when done. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before filling with your buttercream.
For the filling – cream together the butter and vanilla seeds then add your custard powder and sift in the icing sugar and blend to make a thick firm buttercream. It shouldn’t be runny at all so add more sugar if needed. Transfer to a piping bag – once your biscuits are cool pipe about a tablespoon of filling onto one cookie and gently press another flat onto the top to spread the filling evenly and create a sandwich! Welcome to the great British biscuit!