oe Moruzzi and Brendon Parry's Speculoos minis

3 Biscoff baking recipes that every speculoos fan needs to try

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Love Biscoff? These speculoos recipes take the humble cookie to new heights.

Originating over a century ago, the humble Lotus Biscoff biscuit has gone through a serious resurgence over the last 18 months. Once relegated to only being served alongside a cup of coffee (the name is a combination of ‘biscuit’ and ‘coffee’), its popularity has gone from strength to strength since the beginning of 2020. During the multiple lockdowns, the world of TikTok exploded with Biscoff recipes – with the spread version even working its way into our morning coffee. As a result of the insatiable demand, other brands have also jumped on the bandwagon, launching cheesecakes, tarts, sauces and more that are laden with the speculoos flavour.

While the biscuits go by many names – in Belgium it’s speculoos, in the Netherlands, they’re called speculaas and in the UK, they’re synonymous with the Lotus Biscoff brand – but one thing is for certain: they’re delicious. Crunchy, lightly spiced and full of caramelised flavour, they’re reminiscent of gingerbread – with different versions traditionally baked in many European countries during the Christmas period – making it the perfect flavour to incorporate into your seasonal baking.

And while the biscuits are commonly blitzed and used for cheesecake bases, you can’t call yourself a Biscoff fan if you’ve never taken a spoon to a jar of the spread. Made famous by American grocery store Trader Joes in the early 00s, a jar of ‘cookie butter’ is dangerously easy to finish off in a single sitting (just us?). Already drooling? To take your speculoos enjoyment to new heights, you’ll find three baking recipes below that use both the biscuits and the spread.

Featuring a classic sponge, Lotus Biscoff frosting, caramel sauce and yet more Lotus biscuits on top, Angela Romeo’s traybake is what all speculoos lovers need in their lives. With the added bonus of the recipe being 100% vegan-friendly, the indulgent bake will go down a treat at any gathering this season.

For a slightly lighter take, Gaz Oakley’s lime pies – which also happen to be vegan – are equally delicious. While lime takes centre stage in the creamy filling, Biscoff cookies are used to give a depth to the biscuit base, with each tart topped with an Italian-style meringue for a showstopping flourish.

Finally, Joe Moruzzi and Brendon Parry’s speculoos minis are a Biscoff-laden affair. The cheesecake filling not only features both the spread and crumbs of blitzed-up cookies, but yet more of the spread is used to glue the chocolate decorations to the cakes before the minis are each topped with a final sprinkle of crumbs. One for the dedicated Biscoff fans…

  • Lotus Biscoff traybake

    Angela Romeo's Lotus Biscoff traybake
    Angela Romeo's Lotus Biscoff traybake

    Angela says: “There’s only one way to celebrate this vegan gem – put it into cake!”

    Serves 15

    Ingredients

    • 10 Lotus Biscoff biscuits/cookies
    • 1 quantity of Vegan Terrific Traybake Sponge mixture (see below)

    For the vegan terrific traybake sponge:

    • 320ml soya milk
    • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 350g plain flour
    • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 175g vegan butter, melted
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

    Makes enough for a 30 x 20-cm/ 12 x 8-inch pan

    For the frosting:

    • 300g icing sugar
    • 100g vegan butter, softened
    • 100g Lotus Biscoff spread

    For the decorations:

    • 6 Lotus Biscoff biscuits/cookies
    • 1 quantity of Soft Vegan Caramel Sauce, made with 2 tbsp almond butter, 1 tablespoon golden syrup and 1½ tsp coconut oil (add another ½–1 tsp melted coconut oil, to get a good drizzling consistency, if necessary)
    • 20 x 30-cm/8 x 12-inch cake pan, greased and lined

    Method

    Vegan terrific traybake sponge 

    Preheat the oven to 180°C.

    Put the soya milk and lemon juice into a jug or bowl, mix well and set aside until thickened.

    Meanwhile, sift the flour into a large bowl, add the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda, baking powder and sugar; mix together. Add the melted vegan butter, the vanilla extract and half the milk and lemon juice mix.

    Fold with a rubber spatula until it’s just combined and smooth, then add the remaining soya milk and lemon juice, mixing in two to three tablespoons at a time, continuing to use a folding technique between each addition.

    Top tip:
    Grease and line the pan with baking parchment. With the long side facing you, allow the top and bottom of the parchment to overhang the two long sides. If your pan is non-stick, this should be enough. If not, stick a small strip of parchment to each of the shorter sides.

    Soft vegan caramel sauce

    In a bowl, mix the almond butter and golden syrup together.

    Heat the coconut oil in a small bowl in the microwave for 20–40 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted, or heat in a bain marie until melted.

    Gradually stir the melted coconut oil into the almond butter mix. 

    Pulse the biscuits/cookies in a food processor so they are mostly fine crumbs but with a few bigger lumps for a bit of texture (or place in a sealable/zip-lock bag and bash with a rolling pin). Stir the crumbs through the sponge batter.

    Spoon into the cake pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35–40 minutes until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully invert onto a chopping board to remove from the pan, then invert again onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

    Frosting

    Place all the frosting ingredients in a bowl. Whisk with a hand-held electric whisk, adding one to two teaspoons of just-boiled water to loosen, if necessary.

    Use a dinner knife to coat the top of the traybake in the frosting. Decorate with a fan of three biscuits/cookies. Put the remaining biscuits/cookies in a bag and bash with a rolling pin to crush roughly. Scatter over the top of the cake. Finish with a drizzle of soft caramel sauce.

    From Va Va Voom Vegan Cakes by Angela Romeo (Ryland Peters & Small, £16.98), out now

  • Lime pies

    Gaz Oakley's lime tarts
    Gaz Oakley's lime tarts

    Serves 5–6 

    Ingredients

    For the base:

    • 160g vegan butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
    • 1 x 250g pack Lotus Biscoff biscuits or vegan cookies of your choice

    For the lime filling:

    • 400-ml can coconut milk
    • 2 tbsp fresh lime zest
    • juice of 2 limes
    • 1/2 tsp matcha (optional)
    • 280ml almond milk
    • 4 tbsp cornflour
    • 5 tbsp caster sugar

    To serve:

    • Soft Italian-style Meringue (see below)
    • fresh lime slices
    • fresh blackberries

    For the soft Italian-style meringue (makes approx. 2 cups):

    • 240ml chickpea water
    • 60g icing sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla essence
    • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
    • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

    Method

    Preheat your oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 23-cm (9-in) loose bottom tart tin, or five smaller ones (10cm/4in diameter).

    Base

    Add the cookies to a food processor and blitz to a fine crumb. While blitzing, add the melted butter. Tip the biscuit mixture into your greased tart tin(s) and use a spoon to compress the mixture to form the biscuit base. Press the mixture up the sides of the tin(s) as well. Smooth out the mixture making sure it’s an even layer all over.

    Place the tin(s) in the oven to bake until firm for 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

    Filling

    To make the lime filling, gently heat the coconut milk with the lime zest, juice and matcha (if using) in a medium-sized saucepan, over a low heat. Combine the almond milk, cornflour and sugar in a bowl, and whisk until completely mixed. When the coconut milk is hot, pour the almond milk mixture into the pan and whisk over the heat until the mix starts to thicken. Continue to whisk for two more minutes or until the mixture is super-thick and custard-like.

    Carefully pour the lime filling mixture into the cooled pie case(s). Neatly spread the filling out using an offset palette knife. Then place a layer of clingfilm directly over the filling, making sure there are no air pockets. This is important – it stops a skin forming.

    Place the pie(s) in the fridge to chill for at least four hours before serving.

    Soft Italian-style meringue

    Place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, then using an electric whisk, whisk the ingredients until you have stiff peaks. This should take around five minutes. Pipe the meringue onto cakes, pies or tarts and finish with a blow torch (or place under a hot grill/broiler) for a caramelized flavour. Alternatively you can bake the meringue in your oven, set at 100°C for four to five hours.

    Spoon the meringue onto the pie(s) and finish with a blow torch or place under a hot grill for a minute or so until browned. Add slices of lime and blackberries to serve.

    From Plants Only Kitchen by Gaz Oakley (Quadrille, £20), out now

  • Speculoos minis

    oe Moruzzi and Brendon Parry's Speculoos minis
    oe Moruzzi and Brendon Parry's Speculoos minis

    Joe and Brendon say: “We’ve taken one of the hottest flavours out there right now and constructed an outrageously indulgent dessert that will blow minds! Just think, when you turn up to your friends for dinner and you have a six-box of these beauties… it’s only going to end one way: HAPPINESS!”

    Ingredients

    • 8 mini cheesecake moulds or a mini cheesecake tray

    For the base:

    • 200g plain digestive biscuits
    • 50g salted butter, melted
    • 40g soft brown sugar
    • 50g golden syrup

    For the filling:

    • 930g cream cheese
    • 50ml double cream
    • 80g caster sugar
    • 210g Speculoos spread
    • 130g Speculoos biscuit crumb (or just whizz up Speculoos biscuits in a food processor or bash in a sandwich bag with a rolling pin), plus a little extra for decorating

    For the toppings:

    • 320g Speculoos spread
    • 400g white chocolate

    Method

    Line each of the moulds with a strip of acetate or baking parchment. Assemble the moulds on a tray that will fit in your freezer before you start making the base.

    For the base, whizz the biscuits into a fine crumb in a food processor (stick ’em in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin if you haven’t got a processor). Add the melted butter, along with the brown sugar and golden syrup. Give everything a good stir, ensuring all the biscuit has been coated. Divide the base mix between the ring moulds (approx. 45g per mini) and press down gently to create a level base. (Pro tip: we use a coffee stamper!) Set aside while you make the filling.

    Add all the filling ingredients apart from the Speculoos crumb to the bowl of a stand mixer (or mix by hand if you are feeling strong) and blend until nice and smooth. Then add the crumb and mix for a further 20 seconds. Do NOT overmix as this will break the crumb down too much.

    Either spoon or pipe the filling into each mini mould. Level off the mixture to the top of the tin using a palette knife, then stick the tray in the freezer for two to three hours or until set.

    To make the white chocolate decorations, break or chop up the chocolate into small pieces and melt, either in short bursts in the microwave or in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate into a small piping bag and spin in small circular motions onto baking parchment, covering an area of around 2 x 8cm. You will need approximately five per mini. Place in the fridge to set.

    Once your minis are frozen, remove from the freezer, de-ring and remove the acetate or greaseproof.

    Using a piping bag, pipe Speculoos spread around the side of each mini (this is your glue for your chocolate decorations). Next, stand the decorations up next to each other around all the sides until they are covered. Sprinkle some additional crumb over the top of the minis. Allow to defrost in the fridge for one to two hours before serving.

    From Pleesecakes by Joe Moruzzi and Brendon Parry (Quadrille, £15), out now

Photography: Clare Winfield © Ryland Peters & Small; ©Simon Smith; ©Kris Kirkham

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