It’s a rainy Saturday in Hong Kong. One of those grey, windy, drizzly days where you just want to curl up on the sofa and hide out under a blanket until the sun comes back.I’ve spent most of the day in the kitchen, batch cooking up big pots of stew and curry for the freezer. I tried, unsuccessfully, to caramelise white chocolate, and I’ve decided I’m going to have to invest in a thermometer for my oven because I honestly don’t have a clue what temperature it really cooks at. I did, however, manage to whip up these little jammy beauties.
A few days ago I posted about my custard cream hearts and It got me thinking, what other biscuits could I make at home? One of my favourite biscuits was always the jammy dodger. Firstly there was the anticipation of trying to grab them from the selection box, there only ever seemed to a few in there and a real excess of the boring plain biscuits no-one wanted to eat. Once the biscuit had been successfully swiped there was the challenge of trying to peel of the top layer of biscuit without it snapping. It would stick to the sticky, jammy filling and needed to the eased off ever so gently, ever so slowly. Then, finally, the reward of licking the jam and the butter cream off the biscuits.
Anyway, enough nostalgic wittering. Onto the biscuits. They’re not exactly like the dodgers of my childhood, but the way the jam and butter cream squidge out the sides when you bite down is so good I really don’t care. I warn you now, they’re sweet. They’re not a biscuit for the faint hearted or the sugar-shy. The almonds do a good job of lightening the biscuit, but there’s no escaping the sweetness of the jam and butter cream. I might be tempted to make them a little bit smaller next time to cut down on the sugar. Or then again I might not.
For the Biscuits
70g plain flour
2 tbsp ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
25g unsalted butter
25g vegetable shortening
1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp milk
For the filling
25g icing sugar
15g soft butter
few drops of vanilla extract
5 tsp strawberry jam
Mix together the flour, almonds and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening in small cubes. Rub the fats into the flour until you’ve got a crumbly, bread-crumb like mixture.
Mix in the sugar. Beat the egg and the sugar together and add into the dry ingredients until it’s all come together. You might not need all the milk and egg mixture. If the mixture is too dry to come together you might need to add a little more milk. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for half an hour. The almonds make it a bit difficult to roll out so its important to wait and let it chill for a while.
Roll the chilled dough out on a floured surface to a thickness of 4mm. Cut out your dodgers using a circular cutter. Out of half the circles, cut a smaller circle – these will be your biscuit tops. I used a bottle top to make my smaller circles.
Bake on a lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes until they are golden. Cool completely.
When they are cool, make up the butter cream. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add in the butter, mix to a smooth cream then beat in a few drops of vanilla extract. Spread a little bit of butter cream onto the middle of each biscuit. Top with about a tsp of jam and gentle wiggle the top of the biscuit into place.
Bite down and let the jam squidge out.