I've been a bit under the weather this week, with long hours of work and a terrible cold. So, what better way to cheer up a rainy day than with a batch of kisses? Of the baked variety, of course.
Here's another one of those amazing Women's Weekly Books (from Amazon, £3.90) that I seem to be using a bit as a baking bible at the moment. These recipes are really great, I haven't gone wrong with their recipes yet (touch wood, or, as my aunt Karin says, spit three times pah pah pah).
So, back to the Kisses. They're a sort of sponge-cake-biscuit with a distinctly custardy taste - due, largely, to the custard powder you mix into the batter. The two spongey halves are sandwiched together with vienna cream. They're not as light as I thought they would be - imagine a rich custard sponge with a light sweet and creamy filling. You can easily eat three or four of these with a cup of coffee!
The recipe is quite easy and comes together quickly, and I'd imagine you could adapt it to give them a citrus zing, or half-dip them in chocolate. I found that I baked them in batches because my baking trays weren't big enough. If you do that, let them cool a bit on the tray before you take them off - they'll hold their shape better. Also, leave the sandwiched kisses for a bit before eating so that the vienna cream sets for a better texture.
The recipe is available in the book, 100 Classic Cakes, and I found it online as well (here at RecipeFinder). I've copied the recipe below.
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (50g) plain flour
¼cup (35g) self-raising flour
2/3 cup (100g) cornflour
¼cup (35g) custard powder
¾ cup (120g) icing sugar mixture
2 teaspoons milk
Note: this recipe makes about 40 cookies and can be prepared three days ahead. Kisses can be filled several hours before serving.
Preheat oven to moderately hot (200°C). Lightly grease oven trays. Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and beat only until combined. Stir in sifted dry ingredients in two batches.
Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm tube. Pipe 3cm-diameter rounds of mixture, about 3cm apart, onto prepared oven trays. Bake in two batches in a moderately hot oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen biscuits and cool on trays. Sandwich the cold biscuits with Vienna cream and dust with extra sifted icing sugar, if desired.
For the Vienna cream, beat butter until as white as possible. Gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar, then the milk; gradually beat in the remaining icing sugar.
Unfilled kisses suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.