Desserts & Baking

Romany dreams

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  • 500 g butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla essence
  • 4 cups cake flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 125 g cocoa powder
  • 2 cups medium desiccated coconut
  • For the filling:
  • 200 g plain milk chocolate, melted
  • 1 cup fresh cream
  • 250 g 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • fresh raspberries, for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter, oil, icing sugar and castor sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix for a minute. Add all the dry ingredients and mix by hand to form a soft dough. Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

3. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface. Ensure your rolling pin is floured, or place some cling wrap or wax paper over the dough and roll out. Cut out shapes with a flower or round cookie cutter and place in greased shell pans. Bake for 15 minutes. After baking, allow to cool completely.

4. For the filling: Spoon some melted milk chocolate into the centre of each biscuit and spread it out with the back of the spoon. Allow to set. Place the cream and chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and stir until all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge to cool completely and thicken.

5. Whisk the thickened chocolate ganache until light and airy. Pipe or spoon the ganache onto the top of each biscuit and top with fresh raspberries.

Cook's note: When I was a little girl my favourite biscuit was a Romany Cream. They were served on all occasions and over the years I came up with the idea of making them in a different shape, with different fillings, so they became even more delicious… so delicious that you will dream about them at night. And that’s where the name comes from: I introduce you to Romany dreams.

Tips: Make the biscuits ahead of time and fill and decorate them the next day, or even a few days later.
When using fine desiccated coconut and not medium, add 3 cups to the mixture. I use cling wrap when rolling out the dough to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.

This is an extract from 'Fatima Sydow Cooks', published by Human & Rousseau (Pty) Ltd.

Find more biscuit recipes here.

Fatima Sydow

Recipe by: Fatima Sydow

Fatima made her first 100-litre pot of curry at the age of 16 and has been sharing her popular recipes ever since. She built up a worldwide following with her Facebook page, Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow and is a cookbook author and TV cook.

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