Baking – Napolitaines
Mar
8th

I didn’t bake much while I was pregnant last year. It’s weird, but I actually lost my baking mojo. I wanted to bake a lot, but every time I did, I messed it up. Even with simple things I’d made before. I just couldn’t get things right, so I gave up in the end. But lately I’ve been overcome again with the urge to bake. However, with a small baby and an almost five year old I don’t have a heap of time to spend in the kitchen yet. So I started with something relatively simple: Napolitaines.

These are a Mauritian biscuit (cookie) that I fell in love with the moment the crumbly shortbread crossed my lips for the first time about seventeen years ago. And they are ridiculously easy to make because the shortbread only has two ingredients and then you just ice them. Too easy, right?


Ingredients – Shortbread
375 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
500 grams plain flour
Strawberry or raspberry jam

Ingredients – Icing
400 grams icing sugar
Pink food colouring
Vanilla essence
Water

Method
– Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius.
– Rub the butter into the flour until a soft dough forms.
– Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for about thirty minutes.
– Once it’s chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface or on a piece of baking paper to about half a centimetre in thickness and cut out rounds of about four or five centimetres in diametre with a round cookie cutter.
– Carefully peel the rounds off the floured surface. I have to emphasise the “carefully” here because the dough is so soft that I found I was being too rough when trying to peel them off and they were losing their perfectly round shape. Instead I was getting slightly lopsided rounds with finger dents in one side. I ended up using a very flat metal spatula to slide underneath them to peel them up. In retrospect I should have kneaded the dough and cut them out on a piece of baking paper that I could lift up and pop them up off of from underneath.
– Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
– Bake for about fifteen minutes until they are almost (but not quite) golden.
– Allow to cool completely, then spread the underside of half the biscuits with a little bit of jam. Don’t slather it on too thick, because then you’re going to join a biscuit with jam together with a biscuit without jam. If there’s too much jam it will flood out the sides. I feel like I’ve typed “jam” so many times now. JAM!
– Make up the icing by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl and adding seven tablespoons of water slowly, stirring each tablespoon of water in. The icing should be slightly runny, but still have a thickness to it. You may not require the full seven tablespoons of water. Add a drop of food colouring to create a pale pink hue.
– Place the joined together biscuits on a cooling rack with a baking tray underneath. Pour the icing over each biscuit so that the entire top and sides are covered. The excess icing will run through onto the baking tray underneath, which you can scoop off and use again.
– Allow the icing to harden and dry, then enjoy!

I found that I had to coat the biscuits with icing about three times to get them adequately covered. My icing was a bit too runny and it was just sliding right down the sides and onto the tray underneath, so I waited til each coating of icing was slightly dry and would then pour more icing over the biscuits again.

These biscuits are the perfect, crumbly, sweet treats for an afternoon tea or bridal/baby shower. You can also ice them in whatever colour you like – I have seen them in white and blue, as well as pink, and they still taste great!

Until next time,

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