Black Forest Melting Moments

Black Forest Melting Moments

I don’t know where people get the idea that vegans live on air and mung beans (a fittingly stereotypical example shamelessly pinched from Ab Fab’s Edina Monsoon). My sweet tooth hasn’t diminished in the slightest since turning vegan and I can’t imagine not enjoying treats like this!

Melting Moments are almost identical to Yo-Yo biscuits. Or even Viennese Swirls if you’re feeling fancy and don’t mind faffing around with a piping bag. Whatever you know them as, these soft crumbly shortbread biscuits are a delicious retro treat – and super easy to make, too.

I’ve had a bit of thing for Black Forest gateau recently (generously layered with Elmlea’s new plant-based double cream – whoa it’s amazing!) and I tried it in biscuit form. The perfect combination of chocolate and cherries held together with vanilla buttercream couldn’t possibly go wrong and I’m delighted to share my recipe with you here. A word of caution though – and to my daughter’s complete delight – these biscuits are ridiculously messy.

Makes about 12 sandwich biscuits.

200g vegan butter (Buttery Flora is great)
85g icing sugar
1 tbsp non-dairy milk (any)
1 tsp natural vanilla paste or extract
200g plain flour
30g cornflour
30g cocoa powder

Filling:
100g icing sugar
25g vegan butter
2 tsp non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp natural vanilla paste or extract
75g (approx) cherry jam – a good teaspoon per biscuit

Topping:
50g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 180c / 350f /gas mark 4. Mix the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth, pale and creamy. I use a freestanding mixer but you could easily do this by hand. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cornflour and cocoa powder then gradually add it to the mixture.

Stop mixing as soon as you have a soft chocolatey dough. It’s worth scraping the mixing bowl a couple of times with a spatula to make sure everything is properly combined. Then use a teaspoon to form approximately 24 balls, each one a little smaller than a walnut. This is a soft biscuit dough but you should be able to gently roll it with your hands.

Arrange the balls on a baking sheet (line with paper if you’re in any doubt of its non-stick capabilities!) and space them a couple of inches apart; you may need to bake in batches. Gently press a fork on to each ball to lightly flatten.

Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, combine the icing ingredients until you have a smooth, light and creamy buttercream. It’s only a small amount so you can do this by hand, but you’ll get fluffier results using a mixer. Pop it into the fridge to firm up a bit while you wait for the cookies to cool.

When the cookies are completely cool, splodge a heaped teaspoon of buttercream on half of them and cherry jam on the others. Sandwich together and drizzle with the melted chocolate. Leave to set and enjoy!

These are best enjoyed the day they’re made, but they will keep for a day or so. Store in the fridge if the weather is warm.

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