Iranian saffron, commonly known as red gold, is one of the most expensive spices in the world. The red stamens are picked by hand from the crocus flower. A flower that only blooms for a few weeks each spring, taking more than 150,000 stamens to make one kilogram of saffron suitable for sale. Iran produces between 80%-90% of it to the world. Besides the health benefits, which include fighting cancer and depression and promoting memory retention, saffron is a sacred colour and a sign of happiness and good things to come, much like these fragrant golden melting moments with saffron buttercream.
- 180 grams butter
- 60 grams icing sugar
- 60 grams custard powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 180 grams plain flour
- 100 grams butter
- 1 generous pinch of Red gold (Iranian saffron)
- 1 cup icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line two trays with baking paper.
Either by hand or with an electric mixer cream the butter until soft and light in colour.
Add icing sugar and custard powder, mixing until just combined.
Add the baking powder and flour and mix well.
Roll dough into small walnut-sized balls and place onto baking trays.
Press down on each ball with a fork to leave an indent. To prevent the dough from sticking to the fork, dip the fork in flour and tap off the excess before using on each biscuit.
Bake the biscuits for 16 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow cooling before transferring them to a wire rack for cooling.
In a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with the back of a spoon, grind the saffron with a pinch of icing sugar until a coarse powder is formed.
In a small saucepan gently melt the butter.
Add the saffron powder to the melted butter and mix well.
Cool the saffron butter in the fridge until it is firm but soft – suitable for creaming.
Once the butter is set to the consistency of soft room temperature butter, whisk it by hand or an electric beater with icing sugar until a light achieves fluffy buttercream.
To assemble, pipe buttercream in a circle on the base of a biscuit. Gently press another biscuit onto the buttercream, sandwiching the two together.