These biscuits are based on a manufactured brand by food company, Arnott’s. I have no idea why they are called Monte Carlos. Possibly a small market research focus group sat around choosing a name. I once sat on such a team for Cadbury’s Dream (white chocolate). I imagined I’d be in choccie heaven tasting all that chocolate but after a few samples, I didn’t want to try any more. It did not have a lasting effect however…
These are sweet biscuits sandwiched together with buttercream and raspberry jam fillings. They could also be eaten on their own. They’re a bit less dainty than melting moments and if I had to choose then melting moments would win.
Traditionally the biscuit shape is oval but I found it easier to take a tablespoon and make them into a round shape, as the dough was quite sticky. You can make them smaller or larger – just adjust the cooking time.
Fill them just before serving otherwise filled biscuits will soften up. I stored the unfilled biscuits in a plastic bag in the freezer and spooned a little buttercream and jam on two halves in the morning and had it with mid-morning coffee. Perfect.
I find store-bought raspberry jam too cloyingly sweet so used my homemade plum jam instead and that gave a nice sharp contrast to the sweetness of the biscuits and cream filling.
Monte Carlo biscuits
185g (6oz) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour
110g (3/4 cup) standard flour
40g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
160g (1/2 cup) plum jam (raspberry is more traditional)
For the buttercream filling
60g (2 ounces) butter, softened
120g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons milk
Pre-heat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease two oven trays.
Beat the butter, vanilla and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Sift the two flours together and add to the mixture. Add the coconut and stir lightly to combine.
Take about a tablespoon of dough and place on the baking tray. Leave a space of about 4cm (1½ inch) between biscuits. Score the surface of each biscuit with a fork to rough up the surface and to flatten slightly.
Bake for approximately 12 minutes. I baked one tray whilst preparing the second. I always find I get better results with one tray only in the oven when it comes to biscuits. Cool on trays.
While biscuits are cooling make the buttercream filling by beating the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in the extract and milk.
When biscuits are completely cold, place about one teaspoon buttercream on the middle of one biscuit and one teaspoon jam on the other. Gently press together so jam and buttercream are visible round the edge but not spilling over.
Recipe adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly afternoon tea cookbook. So far the recipes I’ve made from this have all turned out well.
I am heading off to Europe shortly so if family, friends and travel are not too much overload, I may get in some mini-posts! There won’t be too much cooking going on but I’m never far from food (and coffee) of some kind.