PLEASE read entire recipe through as many sections are personal preference
For the biscuit layers -
300g plain flour
75g almond meal
75g icing sugar
200g cold cubed butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a food processor process cold butter, plain flour, ground almond, icing sugar and salt until crumbs are formed. Add egg and vanilla extract, process until dough is formed.
Use either of following two options.
Press mixture into 2 shaped tins (I've used hearts 23cm x 20cm - each letter/number will be different) This gives a thickness of approximately 1cm which I found holds its shape well.
Or, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. Roll out on baking paper and using a template cut out desired shape. this gives a smoother appearance however keep in mind the biscuit is covered with decoration.
Bake in a preheated oven 180 degrees Celsius 15-20 mins or until golden brown around the edges.
FILLING and DECORATION
400g mascarpone cheese
400ml thickened cream
150g icing sugar (if you prefer sweetened cream) I left this out
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat mascarpone cheese with icing sugar (if using) until smooth. Add vanilla extract and cream and beat to stiff peaks.
Place in a piping bag fitted with a plain round 1cm nozzle or a star nozzle and pipe around the out side edge of one layer of cooled biscuit. Fill in gaps.
I spread each biscuit layer first with lemon butter and found it delicious however you may prefer to leave this out.
Place the second biscuit layer gently on top and pipe around edges again.
Decoration is personal preference. I've used figs, raspberries, kiwi berries, strawberries, macarons, meringure kisses (decorated with Sugar Stamps) pomegranate seeds, edible flowers and carambola.
The biscuit doesn't go soft but cuts quite easily.