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FRANCES’ BISCUIT PLANTERS & TIFFIN SEEDLINGS

Frans tiffin cake

Inspired by both the Joules Garden Trading tiffin tin and theme of gardening I created these biscuit planters and seedling tiffins-quite literally crammed full of seeds! By planting the tiffin mixture into actual seedling trays, the chocolate mixture divides itself up and fits perfectly into the tiffin tin together with the biscuit planters.

You will need a plastic seedling tray with 2” pots, cut down to create 8 pots or 2 x 4 2” pots.

INGREDIENTS

Biscuit Planters

125g slightly salted butter, softened

125g golden caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

250g plain flour

 

Tiffin Seedlings

300g dark chocolate

125g slightly salted butter

25g golden syrup

1 vanilla pod-optional

pinch of salt-optional

1 Multipack of sesame snaps-120g

100g seeded granola

100g mixed seeds-sunflower, pumpkin, flax seed

100g biscuits, using the biscuit planters

Extras: Cocoa powder or a little dark chocolate or chocolate biscuits, grated, blitzed or crumbled up to create the top soil!

RECIPE

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Biscuit Planters

Cream together the butter and sugar, then gradually beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Sift and stir in the flour and mix to a fairly soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Cover or wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour or preferably overnight.

When ready, weigh out and remove 100g of the dough, this will be used to create the biscuits in the tiffin seedlings.

Roll this dough out on a lightly floured surface to around 0.5cm thick and cut up into pieces and transfer on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Don’t worry about the biscuits looking anything special as once baked they will broken up!

Roll out the remainder of the dough, again on a lightly floured surface and cut into planter shapes with a scalpel, pizza cutter or sharp knife using a planter or paper template as a guide. I find cutting lots of strips and then cutting their end into  a triangular shape before making a hole with the tip of a paintbrush the most efficient way. Transfer the biscuits on to a baking tray lined with baking parchment bake and you have a letter embosser then now’s the time to press in your own bespoke planter label text. Bake both sets of biscuits in the oven for approx 5-10 minutes until the biscuits edges turn lightly golden in colour. Once out of the oven leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool.

Tiffin Seedlings

Toast your seeds lightly in a frying pan or baking tray in the oven and allow to cool. It’s not a necessity but really does bring out the flavours of the seeds.

 

Put the cooled 100g of biscuits and sesame snaps in a large plastic food bag and wrap in a tea towel before bashing them with a rolling pin. You are aiming for a mix of crumbs and larger bit of biscuit to give your tiffin a varying texture and crunch.

Melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat. Once melted stir in the seeds from a scraped out vanilla pod and pinch of salt if using. If you do use a vanilla pod, be sure not to throw the pod away but instead place it in some sugar to create your own vanilla sugar with, ready to create more biscuit planters with next time.

Fold through the biscuit and sesame snap pieces, granola and toasted seeds into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan. Place your seedling tray that’s been cut down to create 8 holed pots on to a flat baking tray or sat in a swiss roll tin. Divide and transfer the tiffin mixture between the pots and level  the surfaces off slightly with a spoon. Grate, blitz or crumble up your chocolate or chocolate biscuits and scatter over the seedlings while still warm but not so hot the chocolate will melt, to create the impression of top toil. If you prefer and have no chocolate or biscuits to hand, dust the tiffin with cocoa powder once set to create a slightly finer looking soil effect! Refrigerate for approx 2 hours or overnight.

Once set you can remove/de pot the tiffin from their trays and place in your tiffin tin-you will be able to fit 4 in each compartment together with your biscuit planters. You can cut your tray in half with scissors giving you a square of 4 pots and place these in your tiffin tin while still in their trays. To serve I love to enjoy them with a cup of tea or coffee and dunk the pointed end of your biscuit planter in your brew before planting it in your tiffin seedling pot. The heat from your drink should ensure the biscuit melts and adheres to the chocolate tiffin resulting in it staying upright as seen in the photo.

Granola makes a lovely addition to the tiffin and you can easily buy a shop bought one containing seeds from most supermarkets. However I like to create my own jam packed with seeds and it looks great stored in the Joules Garden Trading storage jars.

Fran

 

http://francesquinn.co.uk/ 

PEANUT BUTTER BUTTONS

Peanut Butter

These biscuit buttons have the added bonus of being flavoured with peanut butter, turning them into peanut buttons! Cut into circles, they equally work well made into the shape of button hearts and flowers to butter up your Mums on Mother’s Day!

Ingredients

50g Butter, softened

100g Light Brown Sugar

50g Peanut Butter

1 Egg, beaten

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

200g Plain Flour

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 375F, Gas Mark 5.
Cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the peanut butter, egg and vanilla essence. Sift and stir in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix to a fairly soft dough. Cover or wrap the dough in cling film and chill for at least an hour. When ready, place onto a lightly dusted work surface and roll out to approx 1/2cm in thickness. Cut into rounds and transfer to a non stick baking tray spaced 2/3cm apart as they will spread a little when baked. Once all the biscuits are on the tray, use a slightly smaller cutter to press a slight indentation into the dough and a skewer or pencil to make button holes in the middle of the biscuits. Using the rounded tip of the cutter, rather than the sharp cutting end works best as it makes a better and smoother indent. Bake in the oven for approx 10 minutes or until the biscuits are lightly golden in colour. Once out of the oven leave the biscuits on the baking tray to cool slightly and crisp up, before transferring to a wire rack to cool down fully. They can be enjoyed as they are or sandwiched together with peanut butter, nutella or chocolate ganache.

Fran

http://francesquinn.co.uk/