Shamelessly rustic chocolate biscuits made in moments! What more can I say?
Although I teach my school students the classic techniques for cakes, biscuits and the like, I like them to see the impact if they “break the rules” with baking. It is, I think, important to pursue those “what would happen if…?” queries. For example:
- for a Swiss Roll: whisk in the flour rather than fold it in
- for scones and shortcrust pastry: heavy-handedly mix all the ingredients together rather than rubbing in the fat gently…..
These biscuits were originally a classic chocolate shortbread, but I got some students to put all the ingredients into a food processer to blend to a paste and put small balls of the dough onto baking sheets to bake to see how it all turned out…….
……..and it worked brilliantly, with fabulous biscuits ready to bake in seconds – the ones in the photo below. These were lightly pressed on top with a fork before baking.
They can be filled (a delicious ganache recipe is at the bottom of the page) or left unfilled.
I sometimes add other flavours to the dough. For example:
- the finely grated zest of an orange
- 1-2 teaspoons of ginger powder
- 1-2 teaspoons coffee granules (or a few crushed coffee beans)
“Break the rules” chocolate biscuits – makes about 16
- 60g plain flour
- 30g caster sugar
- 50g soft unsalted butter
- 1 heaped teaspoon cocoa powder
- about 50g dark chocolate, melted
- silver/gold cake decoration balls, optional
- freeze dried raspberries or strawberries, optional
- lightly toasted desiccated coconut, optional
(1) Blitz the dough ingredients in a food processor until it forms a ball. Scoop out onto the work surface and lightly work until it goes smooth. Alternatively, work in a bowl with a wooden spoon until it comes together.
(2) Tear off small balls of dough and place on baking trays lined with greaseproof. You can either leave them as they are on the tray or flatten a little with the back of a fork – see the photos underneath this recipe. Alternatively you can roll the dough thinly between two sheets of greaseproof, but once rolled out put in the fridge to firm up which will make it easier to cut out circles using a cutter.
(3) Bake in an oven preheated to 160C (fan) for about 12 mins. Leave them for a few minutes on the greaseproof before carefully lifting them into a wire rack to cool fully, where they will also crisp up.
(4) Dip in melted chocolate and sprinkle over whatever you like to add extra flourishes! If you prefer, you can sandwich them together with a delicious ganache for added indulgence! The recipe for this is below.
Ganache filling (optional):
- 150g chocolate of choice in very small pieces: milk, dark, Ruby…
- 80ml milk (semi-skimmed or full-fat) or cream for added richness
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(1) Heat the milk in a bowl in the microwave until it just starts to simmer. Remove from the microwave and leave for a couple of minutes before adding the chocolate and vanilla. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate first and mix with the warm milk.
(2) Stir well until the chocolate has dissolved. Chill until it has firmed up to a thick, spreadable or pipeable consistency and use it to sandwich together two biscuits.