I saw these a while ago on Taste.com.au and wanted to try them, but I knew they would be fiddly, so I waited until I had a free day on the long Melbourne Cup weekend to bake them. It was more time consuming than the usual things I bake (where I choose things based on how little effort it takes to make something yummy - let's be honest, laziness is a key motivator for me), but the end result was very cute.
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/3 cup icing sugar
125 grams chilled butter, chopped
1 tbs milk
150 grams milk chocolate
1 cup raspberry jam
2 tbs water
Large and small heart shaped cookie cutters.
Preparation and cooking time
On and off about two hours.
Makes about sixteen jam hearts.
Preheat your oven to about 170 degrees celsius.
Chuck the flour, sugar, almond meal and butter in a food processor and process until the mixture becomes similar to fine breadcrumbs (which I forgot to take a photo of. Oops).
Add the egg and milk and process for a bit longer until it becomes a dough. Shape it into a disc, cover in glad wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. I actually discovered that the dough was extremely sticky and had to knead in about another 1/4 of flour just to get the dough to roll out without sticking to the rolling pin or the surface. To be honest that was kind of annoying.
Once you've got the dough to a non-sticky consistency, roll it out to just under about half a centimetre in thickness and use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes from the dough.
Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes from within half of the hearts you've cut out. Does that make sense? It's late and I feel like that's some kind of a riddle. Anyway, the picture above illustrates what I mean. I hope.
Place all the hearts on a lined baking tray and bake for about eight minutes, or until very lightly golden brown. Set them aside to cool down.
Melt your chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
Once the chocolate has cooled slightly from effing hot to just moderately hot (you can test this by eating some off a spoon and either burning or not burning your tongue), spoon it into a medium sized sandwich bag. Snip a tiny bit of one corner off and drizzle the chocolate in delicate lines over the heart biscuits with the middles cut out. I couldn't get an action shot of the actual drizzling because it was really messy and I needed both hands. But it went from the above picture to the below one.
See? Messy. But fun to do. Although I realised that in stead of drizzling from side to side I should have done it artistically in a nice diagonal stroke. Also, I think I cut the hole in the sandwich bag a bit too big because the stream was slightly too thick. Put them aside so that the chocolate sets.
Next, put your jam and the water in a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat stirring until the jam melts and is smooth. Mine actually became quite runny, but it does thicken up once it's off the heat.
Strain the jam into a bowl and discard the seeds. My jam didn't really have that many seeds, so I probably could have skipped this step, but it depends on how seedy your jam is.
Once the jam has cooled a bit and thickened up, take the whole heart shaped biscuits and spread jam over them one at a time. Once you spread one with jam, take a heart shaped cut out biscuit and stick it on top. Use a spoon to dollop a little bit more jam in the middle and you'll get this:
Although I think I took this before I had dolloped the extra jam in the centre. So once you've done that to all of them and lay them flat for a while so the jam sets a bit more, let's cut to the finished product:
- As I mentioned, this was incredibly fiddly to make. There are a lot of parts to it and I recommend doing it if you have a whole afternoon free.
- I also think the biscuits themselves were a tad bland. I would probably add a bit of caster sugar next time just to sweeten them up a bit. And I say that as someone who doesn't like overly sweet things.
- The biscuits also became quite soft in the next twenty four hours, so I recommend making them very close to the time you want to serve them if you can manage it.
- Oh, and as usual I had my fan forced oven on about 130 degrees, because these biscuits cook really quickly and you don't want them totally golden brown. So adjust your oven accordingly.
- I may or may not have had left over melted chocolate in the sandwich bag and after I had drizzled the cut out hearts I drizzled some directly into my mouth. I have no regrets.