Saturday, 18 May 2013

Chocolate Biscuits


I've been obsessed with the idea of chocolate biscuits all last week. Its not that I even like chocolate (I know, I know, I am weird in that way), but the idea of making biscuits with little Ms Rantlet got stuck in my head and it wouldn't go away. 

So on Friday I got my weekly grocery delivery with everything that one would need for making biscuits, so all was left to do is find a recipe I like. A friend from Oz sent me a recipe from Edmonds, a classic - but it required condense milk, one thing that I did forget to order, so it was back to the drawing board. I've been following Jo Whatley on Twitter for a while and her recipes always look very inspiring, I am even considering buying her book - A Passion for Baking. I found her recipe for Chocolate Chip cookies online and decided to follow it (with a few variations) before making a final decision on the book


Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from "A Passion for Baking"

100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
100 g dark brown sugar
70 g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
200 g plain flour, sifted 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp white vinegar
a pinch of salt
100 g dark chocolate drops

Preheat the oven to 150C in a fan oven or 170C in a conventional oven. 

Cream the butter and sugars in a bowl until light and fluffy - I used electric hand mixer for the job. Add eggs and vanilla and beat again until all the egg's been incorporated. 

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and vinegar. Normally recipes never mention vinegar, but I find if you add soda without "activating" it, the taste of soda comes through too strong. Place the soda in a teaspoon, and poor vinegar over it to "activate" it - it will fuzz away. 

Mix everything on slow speed until the dough resembles cookie dough - won't take a minute. Add chocolate drops and mix in with a spoon until all the chocolate is evenly distributed. 

Hand-roll the dough into little balls - about the size of a small apricot. Line cookie tray with parchment paper and place the cookie balls on the tray - leave plenty of space between the balls, they spread quite a bit. I did three rows of four balls on each baking tray. 

You might want to use two cookie trays, so you can pre-roll next batch one while one is baking it. Not essential, but speeds things up a bit.

Bake the cookies in batches on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sharply bang the baking tray on the work surface a couple of times to deflate the cookies, then return to the oven for a further 8 minutes until light golden colour.
Allow the cookies to cool on the tray before transferring them onto a plate.

I think I got about 60 - 65 biscuits from this recipe, hard to say cause Ms Rantlet kept stealing them off the plate. She wasn't that interested in helping me make them, much more interested in tasting them. She has a particular technique of taking a bite of a cookie, dropping it on the floor and reaching for another one, while the cats are swooshing in to pick up her left overs. As you can tell, baking is fun in our household ...


Well, what can I say, the cookies turned out okay, but I am not wild about them. Firstly, they are waaaay too sweet for my taste, and I was after a different texture completely. I was craving something more shortbread-like with some melted chocolate chunks, but what this recipe produces is a light crunchy, snappy biscuit. 
Don't get me wrong, the recipe still makes nice biscuits and they are incredibly easy to make, however I will carry on searching for that chocolate biscuit of my dreams

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