Hit that sweet spot on Valentine’s Day with these heart-shaped shortbread sandwiches with royal icing and a white chocolate filling
Valentine’s Day was a bigger deal when I was at primary school than it is now. I remember working up the courage to tell the girl I fancied that I loved her … Cringe! Nowadays, I can still dial up the romance – but in the form of these biscuits.
The luuuurve sandwich
Prep 25 min
Cook 16 min
For the shortbread base
340g unsalted butter
165g golden caster sugar
340g plain flour
Zest 3 limes
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
For the white chocolate rose filling
200g white chocolate
80ml double cream
A few drops rose water extract
For the royal icing
2 small egg whites
200g icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp glycerine
Pink food gel
Yellow food gel
For the shortbread, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the dry ingredients, followed by the lime zest and vanilla bean paste.
Mix until the dough is just coming together, put it on a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a minute or two, to form a smooth dough. Cut in half, wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 20 minutes. Put two baking trays into the oven and heat to 180C (160C fan)/gas 4.
On a lightly floured surface, roll both pieces of dough to 1cm thick, then, using a 10cm heart-shaped cutter, cut out 20 hearts. Put on the heated trays and bake for 16 minutes, rotating the trays halfway so that each side of the biscuits gets equal exposure to the hottest part of the oven, then cool on a wire rack.
To make the filling, chop up the white chocolate, put in a microwave-safe bowl, and add the double cream and rose water. Mix, then heat in 20-second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate is fully melted. Or, melt in a bowl over barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Leave to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until ready to use.
For the royal icing, you would ideally have a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or, failing that, a hand whisk. Put the egg whites in a bowl and, on a medium speed, whisk until frothy. Add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, and turn the speed to medium-high. Add the lemon juice and glycerine, and whisk to stiff peaks – it should have a cloudy, glossy consistency.
Divide the royal icing equally between two bowls. Colour each one with a different coloured food gel – pick any of your choice (I like pink and yellow!)Add a little water to each bowl if the royal icing seems a little stiff.
To assemble, whip the white chocolate filling to a piping consistency. Flip half the biscuits face down and leave half as they are. Spread a good amount of the filling on the undersides, then sandwich with the other halves. The outside of each sandwich should be the ‘face up’ side of the halves. Now, pop the royal icing into two separate bags with thin-tipped piping nozzles, and decorate as you please.