For a fun afternoon tea, try this amazing creation by Liesel from The Great Australian Bake Off.
For the butter biscuits, preheat oven to 170°C. Beat butter and sugars in bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment until combined, then increase and beat for one minute until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture one cup at a time until a smooth dough forms. Turn dough out, knead lightly until smooth. Split dough in half, flavor one half with freshly finely ground tea leaves, and the other half with another flavor of tea to taste. Form each into discs, wrap in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.
For the walls, turn out one of the doughs and roll out to 3-4mm thickness. Using a self-made template, cut out four walls of the Taj Mahal (my wall template was 20cmx16cm with a door-shape cut out in the center-bottom). If you need to re-roll the dough, do so. Bake on baking paper lined trays for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Allow to cool.
For the roof and beveled edges, turn out the other dough, roll to the same thickness and use to form the roof and beveled edge walls (My roof had 20cm long sides and 6cm short sides, and was too small for the building! I suggest increasing two centimeters on each edge so as to cover the building. My beveled edge walls [between each 20cm main wall] were 6cm wide and 16cm tall). Bake on baking paper lined trays for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Allow to cool.
For the pool, with the excess dough, roll out a rectangle to cover an upside-down rectangular lamington tray. Spray the base of the tray with cooking oil and cover with dough. Place the whole thing on a baking paper lined tray and bake for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Allow to cool, then turn out. This will be the pool at the front of the Taj Mahal. Paint the inside of the pool with the melted white chocolate to seal.
For the sable biscuits, cream butter and sugar until pale. Add yolks, zest and vanilla. Knead in flour and baking powder and form into a smooth dough disc. Wrap in cling film, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Roll out dough to 2mm thick and cut out circles in decreasing size, at least six of each size. Carefully place on a baking tray and bake at 160°C for 5-10 minutes or until pale golden. Cool on trays. Using royal icing, stack the biscuits from largest to smallest in groups of five to form the onion domes. With the fifth onion dome, use twice as many biscuits to ensure it is larger than the rest (large ,large – smaller, smaller etc.) – this will form the centre onion dome.
For the tuile biscuits, mix sugar with egg white. Add flour, then butter. Remove four tablespoons of mixture and colour with a little cocoa powder. Let both mixtures sit for 30 minutes. Put the cocoa mixture in a disposable piping bag and cut a small hole in the tip. Using silicone mold on a non-stick baking tray, spread the plain batter to create a thin rectangle measuring 20cmx10cm. Pipe over the cocoa mixture to create designs in the plain mixture. Bake in 170°C oven for 5-6 minutes or until just golden at the edges. Remove quickly and roll up from the long end into a cylinder (you can use a cannoli mold if you like). Once cool, use a little royal icing to affix four of these to the presentation board around the main building to form four turrets.
For the royal icing, whisk egg whites lightly, then add icing sugar gradually. When stiff paste forms, add a little lemon juice. Use piping bag to apply for decoration and construction.
For the tea custard, whisk yolks and sugar until pale and thick, add flour and combine. Heat milk and tea in a saucepan until boiling and pour into egg mixture gradually whilst whisking. Return mixture to the heat until it becomes a thick pouring custard. Strain into a teapot ready to serve.
Assembly: On the rectangular presentation board, use the royal icing to cement the base of a main wall to the far end of the board. Next, cement a beveled edge to the main wall on a 45 degree angle whilst also cementing to the board with icing. Place another main wall on a 90 degree angle to the first, but attached to the 45 degree beveled edge and to the board with icing. Repeat process until the four main walls are standing with beveled edges between. Pipe a line of icing on the top edges of all the walls, and attach the roof by carefully placing on top. Place the large onion dome in the middle of the roof, then the other four at each corner of the roof – affixing with icing. Place each of the turrets at a beveled edge corner and affix to the board with icing. Place the pool at the front of the Taj Mahal, affixed with icing. Use excess royal icing to pip designs onto the Taj Mahal, outlining doors etc. to decorate elaborately. When ready to serve, pour warm custard into the pool for biscuit dunking pleasure!
This recipe has not been edited or tested by the Bake Off Food Department
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