V is for Vovos (iced)
Okay, so I've been a little bit sneaky for this A-Z baking challenge blog... I'm up to the letter V & a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a photo of iced vovos - a rather pretty looking biscuit with two strips of pink icing either side of a centre strip of jam & topped with coconut. I had never heard of these pretty looking bikkies before & I was intrigued... so I may have bent the rules slightly on this blog post so that I could try making them!
I can now tell you that the pink icing is in fact melted pink marshmallows mixed with melted butter & icing sugar to form a thick, fondant like icing. My first concern with that, was that the vovos would be incredibly sweet - sickly even. Don't get me wrong, these biscuits are indeed sweet - but with the addition of some good quality, tart raspberry jam which cuts through the sweetness of the marshmallow fondant - they are actually quite delightful. They're also quite small - you will cut them out at 4 cm x 5 cm rectangles, which is an ample size. Any bigger & they would be a bit much I think.
Now - looking at these bikkies, my first thought is that they would be great for a child's birthday party. Just be warned - said child might be bouncing off the walls after they've eaten a few of these due to all that sugar coursing through their veins!
One last thing - the biscuit itself is easy to make, but icing the vovos will take a little bit of time & patience. Although a bit fiddly - it's also quite fun. Just make sure you're not in a rush & you can embrace the pink fondant joy.
Righto - on to the recipe!
For the biscuits:
60g butter at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup plain flour
2/3 cup self-raising flour
Pink marshmallow topping:
100g pink marshmallows (I had to buy a 520g packet of pink & white marshmallows just to get enough for 100g of pinks! Needless to say, quite a few white marshmallows were consumed in the process...)
1/4 cup icing sugar - sifted
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup raspberry jam
The recipe I followed called for a fluted pastry wheel (check mine out in the photo below). You then measure & cut the biscuit dough into 4 cm x 5 cm rectangles. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of measuring biscuits individually as mine never seem to end up being all the same size - despite my best efforts! I would much rather use a biscuit cutter - so if you have a rectangular one of about the same size, then just use that - fluted or not.
Fondant spacers: If you don't already have some, I would recommend purchasing some. Pictured below, they are two strips of strong plastic essentially - which measure approx 4 mm in height. You place one each side of whatever it is you are rolling out - be it fondant or cookie dough - & then you can roll it out until your rolling pin sits level with the spacers. It means that your fondant or cookie dough will all be the same, even thickness. They're a genius invention & I would recommend adding them to your baking arsenal.
9 inch palette knife: Another couple of items to add to your baking arsenal are these 9 inch palette knives. Mine are Wilton & I wouldn't be without them. They are fantastic for icing biscuits, cakes or slices & I find the angled knife makes icing a breeze.
What to do:
- Using a free standing or hand held electric mixer, beat together the butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add egg & beat well.
- Sift flours together in a separate bowl & then fold by hand in to the creamed mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface & knead until the dough comes together & is smooth. Wrap it in cling film & chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C static/160C fan bake. Spray some cooking spray on two oven trays & then line with baking paper.
- Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper (using the fondant spacers if you have them or rolling by sight until the dough is 4 mm thick).
- Measure rectangles of 4 cm x 5 cm, cutting each with a fluted pastry wheel if you have one, or just cut out with a sharp knife. Better still - if you have a rectangular cookie cutter of roughly the same size, then use that instead. You'll need to re-knead any offcuts of dough, measure & cut again until you've used all the dough. I ended up with 28 biscuits.
- Arrange the biscuits on your baking trays, making sure you space them out by at least 2 cm each. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden in colour. Remove from oven & cool on trays for a few minutes, before turning out to cool completely on wire racks.
- Once the vovo biscuits are completely cool (place one on the back of your hand to double check), you can make a start on the marshmallow fondant & setting up your vovo icing station!
- In a small bowl, put about 1/2 cup of raspberry jam & give it a good mix to thin it out a bit. Depending on the jam, you might need to zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds to thin it out so that it's a spreadable consistency.
- On a large plate, sprinkle a fair amount of the coconut.
- In a microwave safe bowl, measure out the marshmallows & butter. Zap it for around 30 seconds & give it a good mix. You want a thick, glossy, spreadable consistency. So zap it for 5 seconds more if need be until you get the consistence you need. Mix in the sifted icing sugar until smooth.
- To set up your vovo icing station, line up the vovo biscuits, then the pink fondant, followed by the coconut & lastly the raspberry jam.
- Using a small palette knife if you have one, or a butter knife - work quickly to spread a little of the pink fondant lengthways along both sides of the biscuit, leaving the centre strip bare. Next, gently dip the biscuit in coconut so that the pink icing strips are covered. Set aside & repeat these steps for the remaining vovos. When you've finished icing & dipping in coconut, spread the centre of each biscuit with raspberry jam. Allow to set.
Have fun making these & most of all, I hope you enjoy eating them! :)