A British Biscuit

This will now become a new family, go to recipe
14th April 

I love trying new things and returning to old favourites.  I am not sure what makes me seek new things to try or do and nor do I live a life of always trying out something different, it just happens as the mood takes me or the urge cannot be ignored.  But then there are days, weeks and sometimes even months when nothing but the familiar will do and there is no urge to try or experiment.  These are my batten down the hatches moments and I just live and enjoy.  At present I seem to be the opposite and my life is truly eclectic, where I want to try and experiment with everything and anything and there are not enough hours in the day... Are you like me and swing like a pendulum or are you more stable in your making and doing?

Recently an old school teacher of my children has set up her own business and teaches children to cook.  She was always an inspirational teacher and has helped my daughter to love cooking and experimenting even more.  So when she posted on her face book page, (details below) photographs of 7 year olds having made one of England's favourite tea time biscuits, there was no question about it, we had to give them a go in our house.  Since first making them, we have now made 5 batches, either for ourselves, for entertaining or for giving away, they are truly 'out of this world'.  The biscuit in question... custard creams. Mrs Bun can be found here:  http://www.mrsbunthebaker.net/  and her facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Mrsbunthebaker

Here in England we have always loved our biscuits and the custard cream ranks in the top three favourites in the UK.  In 2007 when questioned 9 out of 10 in a poll of 7000 people, voted the custard cream their favourite biscuit.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6966747.stm and again in 2010, when asked the custard cream came out as number one biscuit of 6000 adults.  In total custard creams have won the best British biscuit accolade 12 times in recent years.  As a humorous aside, it was also voted Britain's most dangerous biscuit in 2009 for causing injuries such as scalding from people dunking their biscuit in hot tea, apparently 500 people in the UK seek medical attention for such reasons!  http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/revealed-the-most-dangerous-biscuit-in-britain-1036095  and finally in 2008 the word, custard cream, made it into the Oxford dictionary, so it must all be true then!  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2235642/Custard-Cream-is-new-entry-in-Concise-Oxford-English-Dictionary.html

Shop bought custard cream
So what is it about the custard cream?  The biscuit we know was first introduced during the Victorian times during the Industrial revolution when factory making was at its prime in the UK.  The intricate design, so well loved, on the biscuit is typical of Victorian baroque design and was based on the fern plant, recently having been introduced in the UK and was a current 'trend' here.  The main ingredient in a custard cream was the newly invented custard powder, known then and now as Bird's Custard, was first formulated and first cooked by Alfred Bird in 1837, because his wife was allergic to eggs, the key ingredient used to thicken traditional custard.  This new biscuit consisted of two layers and a custard cream filling, very like a sandwich.  Today about 6.5 million custard creams are made every working day here in the UK.  That is a lot of biscuit!  In 2010, the largest custard cream was ever made and entered into the Guinness book of records weighing in at over 15kg.  It was later auctioned off for children in Need.  So how to make custard creams, well, it is very easy...

Custard Creams
Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees
You will need:
150g plain flour
25g custard powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g caster sugar
1 egg
85g butter
For the filling:
1 tbsp custard powder
100g icing sugar
50 g butter

 


First rub the fat into the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.  Then stir in the baking powder, custard powder and sugar.  Mix well.
In a jug, whisk the egg to make it a little frothy and add to the dry ingredients, mixing well to form a firm dough. The dough will come together...
 
 
 
The dough, then needs to chill in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour, best if you can leave it for at least an hour though.
 
 
 
 
Due to the custard powder the dough is more yellow than usual.  We liked that!  Roll out the dough to about a thickness of 3mm.  It can stick a bit so use some plain flour on the work surface and rolling pin. 
 


Traditionally custard creams are rectangular, but we did not have cutters this shape, and although you could cut them by hand, we wanted a uniform look, so opted for a circular cutter.
 



Line baking trays with greaseproof paper and place an even number of biscuits, as you need two for each biscuit.  This mixture made three baking trays worth for us.
 

 
Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, my oven seems to be a little fast, so they were ready in 12 minutes.  Check and remove when golden in colour.
 

 Once cooled make the filling with softened butter and give a generous spoon on a biscuit and then very gently sandwich together, being careful not to break the biscuits. 
 

Our first completed custard cream, thanks to Mrs Bun. 
 



 
 Time to eat and enjoy!
 


 
These are so delicious, I would anticipate if you make them, you will make them again and again

10 comments:

  1. The look gorgeous and I like the idea of them being round as they are more of a surprise that way! Hope that you have fun making some again some time! xx

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    1. They are superb! give them a try, sure you will like them too. My son and I are making more again later in the week, ready for Easter week end! ♥

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  2. Replies
    1. They really are good Zelna, give them a try and let me know what you think ♥

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  3. Absolutely brilliant idea ....will definitely give these a go!!!!!!!
    Thanks :0)

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    1. Great, so glad, please do let me know what you think of them, if you are like us, you will love them ♥

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  4. Hi Selma, these look yummy. Thanks for your comment and for linking. I'm your latest follower :0)
    Jacquie x

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    1. Hello Jacquie, thank you for the like, your blog is beautiful and am loving your current photographs. My son loved the bachelor buttons but cannot remember making them when he was young!!! Hope you enjoy the blog, thanks for commenting ♥

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  5. Selma, your photos are superb. They tell the story beautifully, give useful instruction but manage to be subtly arty as well. The pics really add to the appeal of your site!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Nicki, that means a lot, from someone who take photos all the time ;)

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I will always read all comments and will try to reply but it may take me a couple of days, do please pop back and lets get a conversation going...