What a beautiful weekend we’ve had in London this weekend! Sunshine, warmth and blue skies, what more could you want? Weather seems to define the Brits and the sun coming out turns Londoners into a new breed of people who you never thought existed here. In general, Londoners are an unfriendly bunch, but the moment the sun is out, everyone is in such a good mood that they can’t help but be a little bit friendlier. I know I’ve mentioned before that the British obsession with the weather has really rubbed off on me, but I still can’t get over the transformation that happens when the weather is nice. It just astounds me and I can’t help talking about it!
One thing I still can’t get over when the weather warms up is sunbathing in parks. At home, sunbathing is something that goes hand in hand with water. Whether it be the ocean, a backyard pool, a public pool, or even just a paddling pool or sprinkler, sunbathing does not take place without some refreshing, soothing body of water nearby to cool off in. I get that London is high on people and low on space. I get that the ocean is an hour and a half away. I get that most people don’t have backyard swimming pools or even a garden to put a paddling pool/sprinkler in. I get that public pools (or lidos as they’re known here) are not very common or easily accessible. I get it all, I just don’t get sunbathing in parks. Just another thing to add to my list of British quirks I guess!
Now that summer is here (touch wood), it’s time to start appreciating those summer fruits again. One of my favourite summer fruits is the passionfruit. The flavours are just so perfect in a gazillion different ways. In a previous post, I stated that I’d never seen a passionfruit in the UK. I still haven’t seen them in my local supermarket (which is not a surprise, because it’s useless), but I mentioned to a girl at work that I had never seen them here, and she was on the case straight away. Fast forward a few days and I was on possession of three very beautiful passionfruit to do with as I pleased!
I didn’t want to waste them by shoving spoonful after spoonful straight into my mouth, so I went a-searching for a recipe that would do them justice. I came across this Passionfruit and White Chocolate Biscuit recipe in one of the Australian food magazines I’d picked up while I was home and knew that this was the one. The chunks of white chocolate, combined with the zingy, sweet passionfruit, all rolled into a super soft, crumbly biscuit of the British/Australian persuasion (cookie to my American friends) make this recipe a winner.
The use of icing sugar and cornflour in these biscuits, gives them their super soft texture. It’s quite an unexpected texture but most definitely a good one. They are similar to melting moment or yo yo biscuits, though a quick Google search for both terms brought up mostly Australian and Kiwi recipes, so that might not be a very useful comparison for some of you. They could be compared to some shortbreads, but with less butter, and even then it’s a stretch to compare them. I guess you’ll just have to try them to find out!
Passionfruit & White Chocolate Biscuits
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
125g butter, chopped, at room temperature
⅓ cup icing sugar
2 passionfruit, cut in half
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup cornflour
100g white chocolate chunks or white chocolate block, chopped
⅔ cup icing sugar
1 passionfruit, cut in half
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter and icing sugar until light and creamy, about 7 minutes. Remove passionfruit pulp with a spoon and add to bowl. Stir to combine. Sift in plain flour, baking powder, cornflour and white chocolate and use a wooden spoon to stir until well combined.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of mixture at a time and use hands to roll into a ball. Place on prepared trays. Repeat with remaining mixture, leaving enough space between the biscuits to spread as they cook. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.
- While biscuits are cooking, prepare glaze: Sift icing sugar into a small bowl, and spoon in passionfruit pulp. Mix until fully combined and smooth. If mixture is too thick, add 1 teaspoon of boiling water to the mixture at a time until glaze has thinned slightly. Do not add too much water in one go or glaze will be too runny.
- Allow biscuits to cool on tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. While biscuits are cooling, use a spoon to drizzle a generous amount of glaze onto each biscuit. Allow glaze to set fully before serving.
Recipe adapted from Recipes + Magazine, February 2014 issue