"These very elegant and beautifully flavoured biscuits were introduced to me by my best friend Sarah. Such a heavenly combination of wonderful shortbread biscuits sandwiched with pastry cream and rolled in crushed almond praline." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.

Makes
12

Preparation

40min

Cooking

30min

Skill level

Mid
By
7
Average: 3.3 (17 votes)
Yum

Ingredients

  • 35 g (¼ cup) slivered almonds, toasted
  • 75 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
  • icing sugar, to dust

 

Custard

  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
  • 25 g cornflour
  • 25 g chilled unsalted butter, finely chopped

 

Biscuit

  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 80 g (¾ cup) almond meal
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 90 g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Chilling time 1½ hours

To make the custard, place the milk in a medium saucepan and bring to just below the boil. Place the egg yolks, sugar and extract in a bowl and using a hand-held whisk, beat until thick and pale. Add the cornflour and whisk until well combined. Whisking continuously, gradually add the hot milk to the egg mixture, then transfer the mixture back to the pan and whisk continuously over medium-high heat until a thick custard forms. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time until well combined. Transfer the custard to a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming, then allow to cool completely to room temperature before using. 

Meanwhile, to make the biscuits, pulse the flour, almond meal, salt and sugar in a food processor for 2 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture reaches a sandy consistency. Add the egg and extract and pulse just until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides and gathers into a single mass. Transfer the pastry to a work surface, shape into a disc, then cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat a fan-forced oven to 170ºC.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3 mm-thick. Using a 5 cm fluted cutter, stamp out rounds and place on a baking paper-lined baking tray, leaving a 2 cm gap between each. Stack the scraps on top of each other, making sure you don’t knead them together as this will make the pastry tough. Refrigerate the scraps for 20 minutes before re-rolling. Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes or until golden brown, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely before assembling. 

To make the praline, spread the almonds over a baking paper-lined tray. Combine the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Simmer over low heat, without stirring until a golden caramel forms. Make sure you watch the caramel attentively while it is cooking as it will go from perfectly golden to smoking black in a second. As soon as it’s near the colour you want, remove from the heat - the residual heat will cook the caramel further and turn it a deep amber. Immediately pour the caramel over the almonds and stand until set completely hard. Break the praline into small pieces, then pound lightly in a mortar and pestle until you have a fine crumb. If you pound too aggressively, you will wind up compressing the praline into a solid mass at the bottom of the mortar. 

To assemble the biscuits, sandwich pairs of biscuits together with a big dollop of the cooled custard, then smear the sides with more custard before dipping them into the praline crumble. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

 

Tip:

• I learnt the hard way this is definitely an ‘à la minute’ kind of biscuit. If you refrigerate them or leave them for more than 20 minutes the praline liquifies and it becomes a bit of a messy unattractive affair. However, you can make all the separate components well ahead of time and assemble them just before serving or freeze the fully assembled biscuits so long as you eat them the minute they defrost. 

 

This recipe is from Poh & CoAirs 8pm Thursdays on SBS ONE.