Republic Day: Napolitaine (Gluten Free Version) “Mauritian Buttery Jam Cookies”
To celebrate Independence and Republic Day in Mauritius we’ve invited Mauritian chef, Brinda Bungaroo, to suggest a recipe to enjoy with friends and family on this important day. Below she explains one of her favourite treats.
On this important occasion, I have chosen a little cake that reminds me of primary school days. On the day of Independence Day after all of the school children have been gathered in the assembly room and having proudly sung the National Anthem we were offered these little cakes amongst many others with a glass of fizzy drink. That moment was so blissful and it felt like a reward for singing and celebrating this Special Day.
Napolitaine is a very popular biscuit in Mauritius, similar to a shortbread sandwiched together with jam and covered with a light, icing glaze. Melt in the mouth buttery sweet biscuits these can be found in all the patisseries, local shops in Mauritius and also sold as a street sweet treat.
Napolitaine can be made in different shapes. The most popular one, which I call the traditional shaped ones are small circular disks and covered with a pretty pink icing. I have chosen this very little delight to share.
I made these Gluten-free Napolitiane but you can substitute with plain flour. I personally do not like too much sugar glaze, but by all means you can cover and encase the whole biscuit with the icing glaze. The beauty of homemade baking is that you can accommodate your own taste, and make them as unique and rustic as possible.
(Makes 20 Napolitaines)
• 500gms Gluten free flour (Can substitute with plain flour)
• 375gms unsalted butter (room temperature)
• A small pinch of salt
• Strawberry or Raspberry jam or Pineapple jam (I have used strawberry in some and my homemade pineapple jam in some) Full recipe on my Pineapple on link below.
• 300gms Icing Sugar
• Red food colouring (or any colour of your choice)
• Water just enough to make a thick paste – as seen below
1. Pre-heat the oven at 200°C. Sift flour and salt in a bowl, add the softened butter and mix until well until combined. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until all come together into a soft smooth ball.
2. You may find it a little difficult to come together, but don’t be tempted to add water.
3. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Place a grease proof paper on the work surface, place one part of the dough on the paper, and place another sheet on paper on top. Roll the dough about 1cm thick in between floured grease proof paper.
4. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, making sure not to over bake them. These biscuit need to remain pale in colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down on a rack.
6. While this is happening prepare the sugar glace by simply mixing some water and food colouring in the icing sugar to obtain a thick paste.
7. Once cold spoon some jam in the centre of one cookie, gently place another cookie on top and press lightly.
8. To ice the sandwiched biscuits, place on a grill with a baking tray beneath. Pour or spoon the glaze over the biscuits. Decorate with glitter sugar or candied fruits.
9. Let the icing cool until firm and enjoy.
Brinda’s Note: You can make them in any shape and explore on the decorations.
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