Yotam describes these in his recipe as being “so very light that you feel as though you’re biting into thin air”. I was a bit skeptical, but oh my God! These are seriously the best thing I’ve baked in a very long time. Everyone absolutely loved them and I’ve decided that they are going to be my new show-off food!
They don’t sound, or look, like much. Literally cream and jam filled flat rounds of sponge cake, but the weird part of the recipe is that, once baked and sandwiched together, you then leave them for at least 5 HOURS before serving. I kept thinking that they would go stale and so I stole a sneaky one around the 3 hour mark… they were delicious then, and at 5 hours they were heavenly.
There is only a hint of rose water off the cream and it’s that delicate touch that elevates it - don’t make it without the rose water and don’t use rose essence.
I’d love to hear if you make them and what you thought of them. Email me; firstname.lastname@example.org
The original recipe that follows is taken directly from Ottolenghi/Goh’s “Sweet” Cookbook.
I’ve highlighted [in square brackets] where I experienced issues or had to make changes to the original recipe.
You can order the Rose Water, and plenty of other pantry items, from the Ottolenghi online store - https://ottolenghi.co.uk/pantry. Delivery is fast [just two days to Northern Ireland] and the packaging is beautiful!
3 large Eggs, whites and yolks separated
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
180g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g Plain Flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
¼ teaspoon Salt
about 130g Raspberry Jam [I used seedless]
15g Icing Sugar, for dusting
Rose Whipped Cream:
300ml Double Cream
25g Icing Sugar, sifted
1¼ teaspoon Rose Water [I bought a bottle of rose water from the Ottolenghi Online Store]
Preheat the oven to 210℃/190℃Fan/Gas Mark 6.
Line four baking trays with baking parchment (or line two trays, and cook them in batches).
[I did two batches which was lucky as I over cooked the first batch and made them too big!]
Make the Sponges:
Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment in place and beat on a medium-high speed for about 1 minute, until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat for another minute until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and keep whisking for about 5 minutes, until the mixture forms a stiff and glossy meringue. Add the vanilla extract and the egg yolks, one at a time, and continue to beat until just combined.
Place the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl. Sift twice before sifting for a third time into the bowl with the meringue mixture: it’s vital to sift three times here to aerate the mixture as much as possible. Fold the dry ingredients into the batter gently but thoroughly, stopping as soon as it’s combined. Do not stir the mixture again after this point.
Use 2 teaspoons to drop heaped spoonfuls of the mix on to the lined trays. They should be about 4cm wide and spaced 5cm apart. Don’t be tempted to use a piping bag here, as all the air will be knocked out.
[In my first batch I made the rounds too big. They need to be about the size of a Rich Tea biscuit]
Place in the oven and bake for 11–12 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until golden brown around the edges and starting to go crisp.
[I had them in for 12 minutes but they didn’t look cooked at all but then left them in for too long and they turned out like Farley Rusks! Keep a close eye on them]
Remove from the oven and set aside for about 10 minutes, until completely cool. If you need to cook them in two batches, remove the first batch with a palette knife once cooked, then wipe down the baking parchment with a slightly damp cloth before continuing with the next batch.
Gently ease the biscuits away from the parchment paper and separate them into similar-sized pairs.
Make the Whipped Rose Cream:
To make the rose cream, place the cream, icing sugar and rose water in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment in place. Whisk together on a high speed for about a minute, until soft peaks form, taking care not to over-whisk or it will become thick and grainy.
Put them together:
At least 5 hours (or anything up to 24 hours) before serving, spread a tablespoon of the whipped cream on to the base of half of the biscuits, followed by about ½ teaspoon of jam.
[I put a bit more than ½ teaspoon of jam on my powder puffs, but I suppose it depends on what size yours are]
Sandwich together with the top biscuits and place the puffs in the fridge for around 4 hours – layered with baking parchment in an airtight container – until the biscuits are completely softened.
Remove the puffs from the fridge an hour before serving – they need to be room temperature rather than fridge-cold.
Dust with icing sugar, and serve.
This recipe has been taken from “Sweet, by Yotam Ottolenghi & Helen Goh
Sweet Cookbook: https://ottolenghi.co.uk/books/sweet-cookbook-shop
Ottolenghi Website: https://ottolenghi.co.uk
Ottolenghi Store: https://ottolenghi.co.uk/shop-online