custard cream hearts
Everything around me seems to be pink right now except my sunglasses and I could really use a pair of them. I´m not a fan of pink but it just ingratiates itself into my life. The other day I found myself fiddleing with the settings of this blog and the next day I was about to scold myself with my morning cuppa; for a moment I thought I have signed in to someone else´s blog. When I tried to describe for a friend what it looked like, the closest I came to was something from Barbie´s Tea Party.
Recently I have bought a pink scarf and hat, was given a cactus with pink flowers and found an old pink checkered tablecloth and a pink angora pullover that I totally forgot that I had. Now, thing is, that I don´t belive in coincidences, everything has got a meaning. According to the chakra theory pink (and green) is the color of the heart and love. Few weeks ago I started going to a therapy called the Rosen method and it is supposed to open up my frozen, lonely heart ;) Could all these pink things have something to do with that process?
("Rosen Method is distinguished by its gentle, direct touch. Using hands that listen rather than manipulate, the practitioner focuses on chronic muscle tension. ...the practitioner responds with touch and words which allow the client to begin to recognize what has been held down by unconscious muscle tension. As this process unfolds, habitual tension and old patterns may be released, freeing the client to experience more aliveness, new choices in life, and a greater sense of well-being.")
So when last weekend I was invited to a moving-in party I thought baking Nigella´s Custard Cream Hearts for the hostess will be just perfect. They are very cute but not nauseating enough for my recent mood, so I needed to make a small adjustment and add a touch of red food colouring to the filling.
Custard Cream Hearts
175g Plain Flour
3tbsp Custard Powder
1tsp Baking Powder
50g Unsalted Butter (I used 100g butter and no vegetable shortening)
50g Vegetable Shortening
3tbsp Caster Sugar
1tbsp Custard Powder
100g Icing Sugar
50g Soft Unsalted Butter
1tsp Boiling Water
few drops of red food colouring (optional)
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180c.
To make the biscuits, put the flour, custard powder and baking powder into a processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter, cut into smallish cubes and the vegetable shortening in mounded tsps and pulse to cut into the flour to create a crumbly mixture.Tip in the sugar and pulse again. Beat the egg and tbsp milk together. Pour down the funnel of the processor with the engine running until it clumps into a ball. Form the dough into a ball and press down into a fat disc, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll out dough onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 4mm. Dip a 5cm heart shaped cutter in flour and cut out your shapes. You need an even number of hearts to sandwich together.Prick the outside edge of each heart all the way around on one side with a corn on the cob holder. Cook on a lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, and then leave to cool before sandwiching them.
To make the custard cream, put the custard powder and icing sugar into the processor and pulse briefly to combine and de-lump.Add the butter and blitz together until you get a smooth cream. Add the tsp of boiling water and pulse again.Sandwich each biscuit with about 1tsp of custard cream by gently spreading a layer of cream over the unpricked side of a biscuit and then wiggling a matching top on it.
They were easy to make, not that they came out perfect but I´m starting to become less critical and more gracious about my cooking and baking skills. People (read: 16 single women) were all excited about the cute hearts, they were sending the box around and asking the hostess if they were allowed to try them. There were different opinions: some thought she shoud save them, others were more eager to demolish the lot.
Within ten minutes the box was empty and I decided that was a good sign. I didn´t get any at the party, the only one I had before leaving was one without a "pair" and that was quite nice but not enough to make up my mind. I am still not sure wether they tasted great or they were just sweet looking?
Summing up: I must make another batch to be able to review them properly and I also believe the pink filling would be/IS an essential part of my healing process ;)
"This work is about transformation – from the person we think we are to the person we really are."–Marion Rosen