Mauritian Napolitaine Recipe

Mauritius is an island located off the coast of West Africa. With its exotic climate, wildlife, and heavenly beaches, it makes for a popular holiday destination all year round. Alongside its breathtaking displays of the coastline, mountains, and palm trees, Mauritius is home to an amalgamation of cultures. Due to immigration, Mauritian cuisine has evolved and has a unique identity of its own. The Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, African, and French influences are prevalent; from the sweet to savoury dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Growing up in a Mauritian household, I remember the aroma from the kitchen travelling to my bedroom and I knew exactly what my mother was making. These biscuits, also known as napolitan or napolitaine are the perfect pick me up and are great when paired with a hot beverage like tea or coffee. She would sometimes make them in different shapes, and I was able to nibble on the ones that hadn’t quite made the final cut. 

The icing on top adds the perfect amount of sweetness to this decadent dessert. Although traditionally the icing used on top was either baby pink or pastel blue, in modern times bakers have been more adventurous by making marbled icing, glitter, or fondant flowers. The best part about these is the simplicity of the recipe, which makes it the perfect recipe to try out with friends, family, or children. In total, five simple ingredients created a wonderful dessert and I hope you enjoy a piece of my culture of which I am so proud to represent!

Ingredients:

Biscuits:

400 g flour

250 g salted butter, softened (add a pinch of salt if unsalted butter is used)

Icing:

500g icing sugar

100ml milk

Food colouring of choice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

  2. Firstly, ensure the butter is incredibly soft as this is paramount to create soft and flaky biscuits.

  3. Mix the butter and flour together, either with a spoon or a mixer to form a dough.

  4. Roll the dough to 1 inch in thickness.

  5. Using a cookie cutter (you may use a circle or a heart), cut the dough into as many biscuits as possible. It is advised that you try to cut an even number so it is easier to sandwich the biscuits later on.

  6. Bake for 20 minutes.

  7. Let the biscuits cool and begin to prepare the icing.

  8. In a cup or a mug, add a small amount of the food colouring to the milk. In a mixer or a bowl, add the icing sugar. Pour in the milk in parts, and continue mixing until you have the desired consistency. The icing should be as thick as custard.

  9. Once the biscuits have cooled, place a thin layer of jam onto each one. Then place another biscuit on top to form a sandwich. 

  10. Finally, drizzle the icing on top with a spoon, ensuring the entire biscuit is coated and then leave to dry. It is ideal to use a cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath so that the excess icing can drip off the biscuits and the mess can be easily cleaned up.

Enjoy!