Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Deepest Darkest Chocolate Fudge biscuits

Ok, I am about to share with you one of my most precious recipes. These amazingly rich, tasty and chewy biscuits (cookies for my US friends, so don't go thinking this is a scone recipe!) are seriously unbelievably good.  The recipe was given to me by my friend Jocelyn, for which I will thank her forever.

It is a rare recipe that uses this much chocolate without being too sweet. Cocoa, melted chocolate, chocolate chips, this recipe has it all, and the final result is truly special. 

One of the fun things too about this recipe is sharing the list of ingredients with friends... making a double batch particularly so, because then you can tell them that it contains 1.3 KILOS of chocolate chips. 

I think that one of the keys to this recipe is beating the butter and sugar by hand... I don't know why it is, but I do it by hand, and my version seems to come out better than those made by friends using a mixer. Proof that there are times in life, where it is best to do things the slow way.  If you are going to use a mixer, I advise beating on a slow speed.

Deepest Darkest Chocolate Fudge Biscuits (cookies)

214g plain flour
56g cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
227g milk chocolate broken into pieces
113g unsweetened chocolate broken up (a nice dark bittersweet will do)
340g soft light brown sugar
170g unsalted butter (take out of the fridge to soften)
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

OPTIONAL - 680g plain chocolate chips. 


 Sift flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt. Set aside.
Put plain and unsweetened chocolate pieces into a double boiler and heat for 12 - 15 minutes. Stir till smooth and keep at room temperature until needed. (You can microwave the chocolate instead, but be very careful not to over cook it)
Beat butter and sugar. Once creamed, add eggs, one at a time, beating into to the mixture. Add vanilla essence and beat. Add chocolate and beat. Add flour mixture and chocolate chips stirring until thoroughly combined.
For lovely big giant cookies, drop a tablespoon of mix per biscuit onto baking sheets (about 6-8 biscuits per sheet).   For more normal sized biscuits, a heaped teaspoon is about right. 
Bake on the top and middle rack of the oven at 170ÂșC for 15 minutes, rotating half way through baking time. Do keep an eye on the time, as the high sugar content means that they can burn very easily. 
Cool on sheets for 5-6 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack. 

Sit back and enjoy one of the most sensational sweet experiences of your life.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Interesting new marinade

Last weekend I joined some friends for the weekend in a 17th century chateau in Burgundy (sorry I know I am boasting... I can't help myself!).

On the first night, we were cooking a BBQ for dinner.  My friend Christoph had bought some Bon Maman chestnut spread... he didn't quite know what it was when he bought it, but thought it might be interesting to try.

He and his girlfriend decided that it might be fun to use it as a sort of marinade on some chicken breasts they had bought for the BBQ.  I suggested that mixing it with grainy Dijon mustard might balance the sweetness, so Monika did just that; smeared the chicken with pretty close to even quantities of mustard and chestnut spread.

The chicken was cooked, and the marinade declared to be an unqualified success.  I thought I would post  it up here so that I would remember it, and maybe you could try it sometime.  It proves once more that the real key to exciting cooking is the willingness to just experiment, and try new things that you haven't tried before.