These seriously-easy-to-make vanilla squares are so nice even the boys in the office asked me for the recipe. They remind me of a pastry we have in Sweden called vaniljhjärtan (vanilla hearts); a thin pastry heart filled with wonderful vanilla cream. These square are a little sharper than those, because of the fromage frais and creme fraiche, but that’s not a bad thing. I just think it adds freshness and make the squares seem lighter. Deceptive, I know.
This recipe makes a lot of cake, but you can easily halve it or just make the whole batch and put some in the freezer.
Crumbly vanilla squares, makes approx 42
Translated from and adapted after the recipe in Hemmets Journals.
500 g butter
600 g plain flour
320 g caster sugar
4 tbsp vanilla powder (a little less if using essence)
1 tbsp baking powder
200 ml fromage frais
500 ml creme fraiche
240 g caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla powder or essence
Mix butter, flour, sugar, vanilla and baking powder until a sandy texture, using a food processor. I had to make it in two batches as my food processor isn’t very big. Press half of the crumbe onto a parchment paper in a large baking tray (I used two smaller ones).
Mix egg, fromage frais, creme fraiche, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Pour the filling over the crumb base. Pour the rest of the crumble mixture on top. Bake for 30 minutes in the middle of the oven. Leave to cool and cut into squares.