You can’t beat a classic pairing: chocolate and orange, apple and cinnamon, rhubarb and custard. Some things are just meant to go together! These custard yo-yos with roasted rhubarb icing are a case in point: a contemporary take on the traditional pairing in the form of buttery, custard biscuits sandwiched with sharp, intensely fruity rhubarb icing. Roasting the rhubarb brings out the best of its flavour and perfectly balances the sweetness of the biscuits. The recipe is from the brilliant Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh – which is packed with delectable flavours and beautiful bakes I can’t wait to work my way through. This was the very first recipe in the book and I just knew I had to make it straight away. If you’re after rhubarb and custard in cake form then be sure to check out the recipe for rhubarb, cardamom and custard cake in the Everything Looks Rosie archives.
For the rhubarb icing:
1 small stalk rhubarb, trimmed, washed and cut into 3cm lengths
65g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
130g icing sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
For the dough:
175g plain flour
65g custard powder
65g icing sugar
170g unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
1/4 tsp vanilla extract.
First, make the rhubarb icing. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C Fan/ Gas 4. Spread the rhubarb in a roasting dish and roast for 30 minutes, or until softened. Allow to cool before transferring to the small bowl of a food processor. Blitz to a purée, then add the butter.
Sift in the icing sugar, add the lemon juice and continue to blitz for a few minutes; this seems a long time but effectively you are whipping the buttercream which makes it delicious. (If your icing is runny, add a little more icing sugar – it needs to be stiff enough to sandwich two cookies).
Transfer to a small bowl and chill in the fridge for an hour or two to firm up.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 170C/ 150C Fan/ Gas 3. To make the biscuits, sift the flour, custard powder, icing sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place.
Beat on a low speed to combine, then add the butter and continue to beat on low speed until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla extract, increase the speed to medium and beat for about 30 seconds, until the dough comes together.
Pinch off small chunks of dough (about a teaspoon each) and use your hands to roll them into round balls. Place them on the trays, spaced well apart. Dip the back prongs of a small fork in a small ramekin of water before gently but firmly pressing down into the middle of each cookie. The balls will increase to about 2 cm wide – be careful not to press all the way to the bottom, you just want to make firm lines in the dough.
Bake for 25 minutes until the cookies are firm on the bottom but have not taken on too much colour. They will be fragile when warm, so set aside to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Once completely cool, sandwich pairs of cookies together with the icing, with the “forked” sides facing outward. You’ll need about a teaspoon of icing to sandwich each. If you’re not going to eat them straight away, sandwich them only when you’re ready to serve the biscuits or they will go soggy.
Will you be trying custard yo-yos with roasted rhubarb icing? What are you baking this weekend?