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Custard Cream Hearts

by Nigella. Featured in FEAST

Photo by James Merrell


I am in love with this Custard Cream Hearts!

I saw this recipe and had to repost, Thank you Nigella Lawson for this amazing recipe, with Valentines day right around the corner I thought you'd all love to try making these for your very special loved one.

For US conversion — substitute Bird's Custard Powder with the same amount of cornstarch (3 tablespoons for biscuits and 1 tablespoon for buttercream) and add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for the biscuits and ½ teaspoon for the cream. For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.


Makes: approx. 14 custard cream hearts


  • 175 grams plain flour

  • 3 tablespoons Bird's custard powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 50 grams unsalted butter

  • 50 grams vegetable shortening (such as Trex)

  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon milk or more to bind


  • 1 tablespoon Bird's custard powder

  • 100 grams icing sugar

  • 50 grams soft unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/160°C Fan/350°F.

  2. To make the biscuits, put the flour, custard powder and baking powder into a processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter, cut into smallish cubes and the vegetable shortening, in mounded teaspoonfuls, and pulse to cut into the flour to create a crumbly mixture.

  3. Tip in the sugar and pulse again, and then beat the egg and tablespoon of milk together. Pour down the funnel of the processor with the engine running until it clumps together into a ball. Go cautiously: you may not need all of the egg and milk or you may need to add more milk to make it come together. Form the dough into a ball, press down into a fat disc, then wrap in clingwrap, and let it rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 4mm/ 1/8 inch. Dip a 5cm/ 2-inch heart-shaped cutter in flour and then cut out your shapes. You want an even number of hearts, as you will sandwich them together later. It is possible to get about 30 biscuits out of the dough, but you can get more if you re-roll the pastry. I generally stop around 28 so that you end up with 14 biscuits, which seems appropriate for the date. That's when you know you're going downhill: when you let yourself be tainted with both commercialism and numerology.

  5. Prick the outside edge of each heart all the way around on one side with a corn on the cob holder, or other pointed implement of choice. Cook on a lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, and then let the biscuits cool on a rack before sandwiching them.

  6. To make the custard cream, put the custard powder and icing sugar into the processor and pulse briefly to combine and delump. Add the butter, and blitz together until you get a smooth cream. Add the teaspoon of boiling water and pulse again.

  7. Sandwich each biscuit with about 1 teaspoon of custard cream, by gently spreading a layer of the cream over the unpricked side of a biscuit and then wiggling a matching top on to it. This helps avoid crumbling and breakage, as the biscuits are quite frangible.

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