Sunday, June 6, 2010

Neopolitan Melting Moments

The other day, my usually unromantic boyfriend of many, many years came home from work with a bunch of my favourite flowers. My first question to him was, "Did you do something bad?". Which is quite sad now that I think about it. But it's been a while since I've gotten flowers. He's not one for romantic gestures, he hates Valentine's days and is only sort of enthusiastic about anniversaries. But he hadn't done anything wrong, just saw the flowers on his way to the bank on his lunch break. And I was happy to have something to put in my favourite new vases, these laboratory flower vases that I got along with my awesome teacupcake moulds from Urban Outfitters ♥
What can I say, the geek in me couldn't resist them. Anyway, the surprise of getting flowers (something that I hadn't had in a while), made me feel like baking something I haven't had in a while. Before I started this blog, my baking was limited to a very short list of basic recipes. For each of them, I would make them over and over with lots of different recipes until I found one that I was happy with. Vanilla cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, sticky date pudding, vanilla bean pannacotta and melting moments. I was OBSESSED with melting moments. They are so evil but so good. A thick sploge of icing sandwiched between two melt in your mouth, buttery shortbread biscuits. Here in Australia I think they're also known as yoyo biscuits, but I've always known them as melting moments. What do you call them? They charge a ridiculous amount for them at cafes but they are so satisying with a cup of tea or coffee. And even better when they are homemade.
So here's a fun version that's even tastier than the plain vanilla version. I am a sucker for neopolitan ice cream. If you've ever bought neopolitan ice cream, you probably end up favouring one of the three flavours more than the others, whether it's the strawberry, chocolate or vanilla bit. For me it was always the strawberry. But in the end you always end up eating all of it because ice cream is ice cream. So this time I decided to try making neopolitan melting moments, rather than going and buying myself a giant tub of ice cream. I basically split one portion of the shortbread dough into three and made one vanilla flavoured, another chocolate flavoured and the third strawberry flavoured. And did the same thing with the icing, then sandwiched them together so that each biscuit had chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavouring, in three different variations. Look!
Fun, right? And very very tasty. The combination of all three of the flavours in each biscuit is great, and interestingly each variation tasted a little different. It was quite interesting and the biscuits were pretty darn addictive. And so colourful! They are pretty rich, so I wouldn't recommend having more than three of these in one sitting. It always used to surprised me how difficult it was for me to find a recipe for melting moments that I was happy with. So many recipes out there give you dry, raw tasting, crumbling biscuits that make you feel like you've just filled your mouth with sawdust. But this one is really good. The biscuits aren't dry or too floury, just as long as you don't overwork the dough or cook the biscuits long enough. Oh and use good quality butter, it really makes your biscuits that much better.
Neopolitan Melting Moments
(adapted from this Gourmet Traveller recipe, makes 24 biscuits)
For the biscuits:
250g soft unsalted butter
80g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp strawberry extract + pink food colouring
1 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
75g cornflour, sifted
225g plain flour, sifted

For the icing:
275g icing sugar, sifted
100g cold unsalted butter, finely chopped
2 tbsp melted dark chocolate
2 tbsp strawberry puree or strawberry jam
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line 3 baking trays with baking paper. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Split flours into three equal portions, one for each flavour of biscuit (75g flour, 25g cornflour) add a pinch of salt of each. Split creamed butter mixture into three equal portions as well.
For the chocolate biscuits, replace 1 tbsp of flours with 1 tbsp cocoa powder. Beat 1/2 tsp vanilla essence into one of the butter portions. Fold in the flour and cocoa mixture with a wooden spoon until the mixture just comes together to form a soft dough. For the strawberry biscuits, beat strawberry essence into creamed butter. Fold flour mixture in with a wooden spoon until the mixture just comes together to form a soft dough. For the vanilla biscuits, beat 1/2 tsp vanilla essence into creamed butter. Fold flour mixture in with a wooden spoon until the mixture just comes together to form a soft dough.
Trying to handle the dough as little as possible, form level 1/2 tablespoons of mixture into balls, then place 5cm apart on baking paper-lined oven trays, flatten slightly to 3.5cm rounds, then, using a floured fork, press tines gently into dough rounds, to create grooves. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly coloured. Stand biscuits on trays for 5 minutes, before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
For the three different icings, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy, and split into three equal portions. Beat melted chocolate into one portion, vanilla extract into another portion and strawberry puree/jam into the third.
Sandwich biscuits together with 2 tsp of icing, so that each biscuit has chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavours; 1 chocolate + 1 strawberry biscuit with vanilla icing, strawberry and vanilla biscuits with chocolate icing and chocolate and vanilla biscuits with strawberry icing.
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  1. Love the colours of these trio of melting moments! Feel like having a scoop of neopolitan ice-cream with them.

  2. These look great. I always loved Neapolitan ice cream when I was a kid. I haven't had it in years. I would always eat the chocolate first. The iris's look really good too.

  3. Aww how sweet of A! I love the test-tube vases! So cool!! And love the neopolitan melting moments! I always went for chocolate, then vanilla, then strawberry! But ice cream is ice cream! Aww man, your creations never cease to wow me! :)

  4. They look great! So bright and pretty.

    Love the irises and the test tube vases!

  5. hehe I got 'suspicious' flowers the other day as well! Didn't have a cool test tube vase to put them in though =P I always liked the chocolate flavour the best in neapolitan ice cream - never really liked the strawberry but your melting moments look so pretty and colourful!

  6. Love them! I haven't had Neopolitan ice cream since I left Oz - I reckon making a batch of these for myself will be the closest I'll get for a while ;0)

  7. With Neopolitan ice-cream, I'm a piglet. I go across ALL three in one mouthful so these melting moments would be perfect for me.

    your so creative in the kitchen, I loves it.

  8. Colourful melting moments fun! And love the back-to-childhood concept of neapolitan ice-cream. For me, it was always the chocolate =p

  9. For someone that isn't romantic, the flowers are such a lovely gesture. Love the look of your melting moments!

  10. the photos are so beautiful! And what else can I say about the yoyos? LOVELY!

  11. They look like childhood memories. My parents always bought neapolitan icecream. And hey - did you swipe those neat conical flasks and test tube rack from the lab? ;)

  12. Oooh wow these look delicious, so pretty and colourful as well!

  13. so preeetty.. you know for someone without an slr you take some wicked photos

  14. I love the test tube vase and good on A for the purple flowers! Is it odd that I've never tasted yo-yos before? Eek. But neopolitan? LOVE!

  15. squee your test tube vase is so cute! lol @ suspicious flowers haha and my fav flavour in the neapolitan is chocolate but i would totes try these super colourful biscuits!

  16. This looks like such a fun idea! What's your favourite of the three variants?

  17. wow- these are seriously gorgeous and LOVE the lab flower vases!

  18. another cool and cute creation from u steph :O)

  19. Poor Aaron, can't even surprise his gf without looking suspicious. Wished my unromantic bf would dos oemthing like that =D I love the idea of the Nepolitan flavours in the one biscuit. Nobody misses out on any flavours, win win.

  20. these are soo cute steph! I love the colours and the Neapolitan ice-cream inspiration. You and your amazing ideas! Its one that makes you stand out from the rest of the bakers ^_^ For a second i thought you bought the lab vases from that place we went to after high-tea.

  21. Awww isn't he sweet :P Hee hee age of the g33k baby ;) and these look soo goodd mmmm

  22. +1 for Melting Moments.
    These triple flavour combos are so creative! Something for everyone.

  23. Great combination of flavours in a cookie, what's not to love? I saw that cute vase at Urban Outfitters but thought that they were attached to the holder - are they?

  24. Sweetness all around! Super-cool vase too. Would love to see these cute-fun-tasty cookies on baking is hot! :)

  25. You can't go wrong with this combo!
    Oh your poor boyfriend hahahaha!

  26. So cool!! Awesome biccies, and with these you are guaranteed to get some of your favourite flavour. It is so disappointing when you come across a container of neopolitan ice cream in the freezer, get all excited, and then discover there is only vanilla left. And it's icy.

  27. These made me want neopolitan ice cream...Duh, I hadn't realised yoyo biscuits were the same as melting moments!

  28. Gorgeous styling, and I LOVE the lab vases!

  29. I hate to admit but I have never tried a melting moment in my life. But if I did end up trying one, this would be the first recipe I'd make of it. The idea of mixing the flavours is inspired.

  30. Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - Ooh that would be so fun to have neopolitan ice cream with it too!

    missklicious - Thanks!

    Mark @ Cafe Campana - Thanks, I love irises :)

    Betty @ The Hungry Girl - :D How awesome is the vase?? Thanks twin!

    Poires au Chocolat - Thanks so much! I love them too ;)

    Jacq - ROFL I wasn't quite sure what to think of the suspicious flowers! Thanks so much!

    Chele - Neopolitan ice cream is the best! Ooh I hope you do make them :)

    Laura - Haha excellent! Sounds like the best way to eat it ;)

    mademoiselle délicieuse - Haha the chocolate seems to be everyones fav! I am a sucker for the fake strawberry :P

    john@heneedsfood - It was quite sweet wasn't it? :D thanks!

    Anh - Thank you so much!

    Forager - I love capturing childhood memories! Haha i wish! that would have saved me some money!

    Natalie...- Thanks!

    Lex - LOL actually I switched to playing with a DSLR a few posts back ;)

    Karen @ Citrus and Candy - That is weird! I am making you try them now!

    chocolatesuze - Heehee thanks! LOL it was easy to get over the suspicion when I saw how pretty they were in the vase!

    Simon @ the heart of food - It was fun! Hmm probably the one with the strawberry icing ;)

    Gastronomy Gal - Thank you very much!

    betty - Aww shucks ;)

    linda - haha i know, im such a bitch. LOL very subtle linda. :D exactly!

    Leona @ pigged-out - Thanks Leona! Hehe nope but I did buy a lot of stuff from there ;)

    FFichiban - :D go the geeks! thanks!

    Emma @CakeMistress - Yes I hope so! Unless someone doesnt like chocolate, strawberry or vanilla :S

    Linda V - Thanks

    OohLookBel - Yep they are attached to the holder but theres only one tiny screw on one side of the wooden holder, so you can lift it up and wiggle the glasses out ;)

    Patty - Thanks so much! Done :D

    Brenda - LOL I know I'm so harsh on him. Thanks!

    Conor @ Hold the Beef - Aww thank you! Ughh thats the worst! Especially if it's icy!

    Maria - Haha I didn't realise they were called yoyo biscuits til i saw the GT recipe!

    Clare @ Mrs Multitasker - Thanks so much!

    Trissa - Oh trissa you have to try one! It's so evil and so good at the same time ;)

    The Ninja - :D Thanks!


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