Sunday, 8 February 2015

Melting hearts

Back in December, I showed you the cakes and biscuits I'd made for Lancashire night and promised the recipe for jam slice. I've held onto it until now because I'd read* that jam slice is also known as love paste cake. What could be more appropriate with Valentine's Day just around the corner?

Traditional jam slice is just a layer of jam sandwiched between 2 pieces of sweet shortcrust pastry. However, I've played around with the recipe by using melting moments dough on the top. For those who don't know, melting moments are like a very soft shortbread which really does melt in the mouth - you can also buy them as Viennese whirls. If you prefer though, you can make a classic jam slice by simply making the base and using it for the top and bottom layers.

I played around with making individual portions in these heart-shaped tins. They looked good until I tried to get them out - you can see the result in the picture at the end. Chickpea declared them 'rustic' which is a polite way to say a bit of a mess. Save yourself the hassle by making them the traditional way and cutting out hearts with a pastry cutter. Either way they're delicious and there are plenty of trimmings left over for the chef ;-)

Melting hearts

For the base:
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
Strawberry jam

For the top:
175g unsalted butter
40g icing sugar
150g plain flour
40g cornflour

Make the base:
1. Mix together the butter and sugar.
2. Add the lemon zest.
3. Add the flour and baking powder
4. Stir in the beaten egg
5. Press the mixture together with your hands into a ball.
6. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for about 30 minutes

Make the top:
1. Mix the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth and pale.
2. Add the flour and cornflour and mix well.
3. Bring together into a ball with your hands.

Assemble your biscuits:
1. Roll out the base in a rough rectangle until the pastry is about 3mm thick.
2. Place on a lined baking sheet.
3. Spread strawberry jam generously (or your choice of flavour) over the base.
4. Roll out the top into a similar size to the base. Place on top of the jammy base.
5. Bake in the oven (170C/Gas 4) until pale gold.
6. Cool on the tray and then cut into heart shapes.

* 'Traditional Food East and West of the Pennines' by C. Anne Wilson


Hope you've had a good weekend. Yesterday Chickpea and I went into Manchester on a shopping trip. I managed to get 3 shirts for work, 2 of which were bargains in the sale - happy days! We spotted this guy playing a strange harp-like instrument - I'd love to know what it is if any of you know. I suppose I should have asked him!

Today, as well as making biscuits, I've been finishing the mug hug samples I made for the quilt workshop, which went really well. I wanted to write about it today but ran out of light to take photos of the finished items so won't get another opportunity until next weekend. Although the daylight hours are gradually getting longer, it's never quite enough. There have been some beautiful sunrises and sunsets though. Let's hope for more of those this week. x


  1. Lovely heart shaped biscuits, they look yummy, I wondered if it was a Ngombi arched harp or folk lute?

  2. Oh I love the sound of that recipe - and I have a favorite shortbread recipe that I think would work fine. Do you think that I could cut two heart shapes - spread jam on one - sandwich them together and bake? I think I'll give it a try with a few and see what happens. I do have several heart shaped cookie cutters so I think I'll try some in different sizes. The grandsons will go for the big ones first - but that's ok - they have the biggest part of my heart anyway.

  3. Those biscuits do look yummy, my girls are really into baking right now, I'll get them to make us some too! Xx

  4. Those biscuits sound delish! I'm tempted to make them. Suzy x

  5. Hi Julie, we were brought up on jam slice, and it's one of my boy's favourite things to eat when I do some baking, your hearts look lovely, must try your recipe.
    Amanda xx

  6. Something new to try over the break coming up. Can't wait to see the finished mug hugs. I could use one in the morning as my coffee gets cold fast this time of year.

  7. What a wonderful valentines treat!! The Mug Hug looks pretty!! xx

  8. These look so good. I'd make them any time of year, they'd be perfect with my post-school-run cup of tea in the afternoon. Thanks for the recipe. xx