Who doesn’t have a soft spot for this Aussie classic, first invented and still made by Arnott’s and often found in the iconic packet of Assorted Creams. For me the Monte Carlo is one of the first to go - though I can’t go past the shortbread creams ( a future project). Would love to do a poll on the last biscuit in the packet out of interest.
I felt that given the off shore Oreo has been getting so much publicity (and it is delicious) that the same celebration should also be given to some Australian biscuit (or cookie) classics - hence my take on the iconic Monte Carlo, a delicious combination of coconut, raspberry and buttercream - split, licked and dunked by many (including myself)
My version uses coconut oil in the biscuit and buttercream for extra coconut intensity and tenderness of crumb, a sprinkle of salt and intense raspberry jam all wedged together in buttery, sticky, creamy generous goodness.
Make about 18 good sized biscuits and extra jam.
Just a note that unrefined coconut oil is the type that is solid at cool room temperature. You can usually find this in the health food section of the supermarket, or health food shops, sold in jars.
Citrus pectin can also be found in health food shops and helps the jam to set more firmly so that it doesn’t run out of the finished biscuit.
For the biscuit dough:
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
150g unsalted butter
50g unrefined (preferably organic) coconut butter
100g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
good pinch of sea salt (to taste)
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g finely desiccated coconut
For the coconut buttercream:
(have all ingredients at room temperature)
40g unsalted butter
25g unrefined (preferably organic) coconut oil
140g organic icing sugar (or pure icing sugar)
good pinch sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the raspberry jam:
300g frozen or fresh raspberries
100g raw sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 heaped tsp citrus pectin
1 extra tablespoon sugar
To make the biscuits:
Start by making the jam to allow time for it to set and cool. (alternatively please feel free to use bought jam, strained of pips and preferably a firm variety). This recipe makes extra jam than you need - yummy on muffins, in doughnuts, on toast etc
If using frozen raspberries, allow them to thaw.
Place the fresh or thawed raspberries, 100g sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring to break down the fruit and stop it sticking.
Allow the mixture to bubble over medium heat for around 9 minutes or until all the fruit has broken down and the jam has started to thicken.
Mix together the pectin and extra sugar, then whisk this into the jam and boil for an extra minute.
Strain the hot jam into a bowl, pressing and stirring the jam through the sieve .
Allow to cool and set, covered in the fridge
For the biscuit dough:
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius, fan forced.
Line to baking sheets with baking paper
Using hand beater or a stand mixer, cream together the butter, coconut oil, sugars, vanilla and salt until fluffy and well combined.
Beat in the egg until combined.
Sift together the flour and baking powder then whisk in the coconut.
Mix into the wet ingredients until just combined and the whole lot has formed a soft ball.
Take 20g, or 1 tablespoon measures of dough and roll them into a ball.
Place them spaced apart onto the lined baking tray and press down quite firmly with the back of a fork two ways so they are flattened evenly (to make a criss cross pattern)
Bake at 170 ff for 12-15 minutes or until firm and golden.
Allow the biscuits to cool on a rack.
To make the coconut buttercream:
Sift the icing sugar.
Beat together the butter, coconut oil and icing sugar until fluffy and creamed.
Beat in vanilla extract and salt to taste. ( I use a very decent pinch)
Slowly pour in the milk while beating and continue to beat until fluffy and all combined.
To assemble the biscuits:
To fill the biscuits use a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle.
I like to have the jam almost coating the buttercream which is like the original and eventually sets into a sticky outer layer.
To achieve this, spoon jam around the outer walls of the piping bag from top to bottom. I spooned mine evenly across for sections. It can get messy.
Using a tablespoon, quickly drop the buttercream into the middle of the piping bag so that it will be surrounded by jam.
Pipe a little out to ensure both jam and buttercream exits the bag at one time.
Pipe a decent blob of filling onto one half of the biscuit and sandwich with the other half.
Alternatively, fill a piping bag with buttercream. Pipe a decent blob (about a heaped teaspoon) on one half of the biscuit and then top with some jam.
Try not to eat them all at once !