Gâteaux à la crème cuit (clotted cream biscuits) are traditional little French biscuits. I’ve made these to the typical recipe before but found them lacking in, well, ‘something’. I’ve never been sure quite what or what to do with them to set this right, up till now.
I had some raspberries left over from another bake (the rhubarb and raspberry friands) so I thought I’d try incorporating them into the recipe. The original plain gâteaux are quite moist, so by adding raspberries I knew they’d be even more squishy – even possibly in danger of being a sludgy baked mush at the bottom of my baking tray. By rolling them in dessicated coconut and baking them lower and slower than normal, I’ve ensured this didn’t happen and the biscuits are gorgeous. I may be experimenting more with the base recipe too in the future now I know it will translate well to other flavours as I do love the atypical use of clotted cream over butter.
You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of recipes lately. This is contrarily not because I have been baking and cooking more. In fact, I’ve been in my kitchen much less than normal. This is due to both a health issue (relatively minor but annoying carpal tunnel syndrome – not great for a designer who bakes, draws and plays guitar) and the state my kitchen is currently in. We’re getting our garage converted to give us a third bedroom, so our twin teens can have a room each and space for themselves – hopefully this means less falling out and more quiet space for revision (I know, very wishful thinking). This has meant losing part of our already small kitchen to a new doorway. All the surfaces are currently under a layer of brick dust, which I have to remove before I get to cook and then I have to search through stacked boxes to find ingredients. So kitchen usage has necessarily gone down somewhat to the level of ‘essential only’ until it’s all complete. Hopefully this won’t be for much longer for my kitchen or my hands. I’m pretty easy going so it’s all OK and perhaps fateful that the kitchen disaster area has come while my hands are bad and I wait for treatment. One very good outcome is that this hiatus has afforded me the time to convert a few draft posts into live ones, albeit while typing v e r y s l o w l y.
No butter or margarine (not that I use margarine anyway…) in this recipe. The clotted cream is a direct replacement for the more typical fat content.
- Large bowl
- Small bowl
- Tablespoon measure (for scooping out the dough to the right size)
- Baking tray, large, lined (or two smaller)
- Wire cooling rack
- Clotted cream (Rodda’s is my favourite) – 125ml
- Caster sugar – 125g
- Plain flour – 125g
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Fresh raspberries – about 75g
- Dessicated coconut – about 100g (you will use less but you need this amount to roll the biscuits around in without them sticking to the bowl. The remainder can be re-used)
- Turn on your oven to 160C fan / 180C conventional and have your baking sheet(s) ready
- In the large bowl mix the clotted cream, caster sugar and flour together – you may actually find this much easier with your fingers (I resorted to using my hands after trying with a wooden spoon)
- Crush the raspberries between your fingers and mix into the dough
- In the separate smaller bowl, tip out the dessicated coconut and place it next to the prepared baking sheets
- Use the tablespoon measure to scoop up some dough (I used it as a flat measure) and place it in your palm, ensure that the dough forms a rounded disc shape – rather like a giant chocolate button
- Place the dough disc domed side down in the dessicated coconut and roll it around. You don’t want the underside (flat side) coated
- Invert the biscuit and place it flat side down on the baking tray
- Repeat steps 5 – 7 until all the mixture is used
- Place the tray in the lower half of the oven (I know it’s not supposed to matter if you have a fan oven but mine still performs hotter towards the top)
- Bake for about 20 minutes
- The coconut should have started to toast slightly and you can gently lift up a biscuit to see if the bottom is still soggy or not. If it is still a bit soggy, turn the oven off and put the tray back to cook through in the residual heat for 3-4 minutes more
- Once cooked enough (either at 20 minutes or a few minutes more) take out and leave to cool slightly on the tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely