Cooking and baking has become a way for me to reconnect with the food that I loved to eat in the Philippines. Since moving to the UK, I’ve had to rely on my food prep skills instead of having my mum cook my favourite dishes for me. I’ve always loved it and cooking and baking were my creative outlets. It always made me smile when people said that something I made was really good. But when I was in the Philippines, cooking and baking the dishes I wanted to prepare was more frustrating than relaxing because I couldn’t get a lot of the ingredients that I needed.
Things have changed though since I moved to England. I can now attempt most of the recipes that I’ve been wanting to try because the ingredients are more accessible (it’s the Southeast Asian ingredients that are now not as accessible as they were in the Philippines! Ha!). As a result, my cookbook collection has grown to a 32-strong contingent!
This year, the resolve is to actually USE my cookbooks and cook or bake 1 recipe a weekend.
I decided to start with a custard cream recipe from Jo Wheatley’s book A Passion For Baking. I’ve been reading a lot of good things on Twitter and Facebook about Jo’s recipes. Jo Wheatley was the winner of the second season of the Great British Bake Off. I must admit that it was because of the GBBO shows that I took up baking again. Before that I would just bake the occasional cake or cupcake but now I’ve been reading up on baking techniques and expanding my baking repertoire.
Jo’s custard cream recipe is great. She breaks the down in stages and the preparation instructions are easy to follow. I had to chill my cookie dough though for about 30 minutes instead of the suggested 20. As each oven is different, I baked my biscuits for 15 minutes instead of the prescribed 10-12. They weren’t golden enough. But once out of the oven, they smelled heavenly and the biscuits were lovely and short! What I loved the most is that the recipe page is laid out in two columns. One column has ingredients and the suggested equipment that lets you prepare them before you start baking. The other column has the preparation directions. It was so lovely and organised! I try to be organised in the kitchen becaused I think the trick to cooking and baking well is being organised.
My cookies are lovely and golden and what I appreciate most is that it doesn’t have as much sugar as I thought it would. Being a diabetic means that I have to limit my sweet treat moments and unfortunately for me, custard creams are a guilty pleasure. Maybe now I can develop a custard cream recipe that is more diabetic-friendly! But the best bit of the recipe is that it makes about 20 biscuits which makes 10 custard creams. They are moreish but at least there isn’t a lot scoff down! Ha!