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Savoury Chocolate Biscuits for Cheese


Last week was chocolate week, and Vanessa launched her book at Olympia in front of a huge crowd. We then got chatting about chocolate and she mentioned her famous savoury chocolate biscuits, from her first book Prepped. Chocolate and cheese? Really?

“They go really well with cheese, especially cheddar,” Vanessa reassured me. In fact she said “It is such a delicious recipe that it has also featured in another book on chocolate by Chantal Coady of Rococo chocolate.” We are going to have to take a leap of faith here, so being as chocolate and cheese are one of my favourite things to eat I thought that this week we’d take a slight detour from bread and share Vanessa’s biscuit recipe below…. and take the opportunity to introduce you to a company that is a bit like us – The Cheese Shed. Winner of The Observer Monthly Food Awards the team there spend all their time seeking out the very best hand-made cheeses from the Westcountry to make them available to customers across the UK. They stock some fantastic mellow cheddar that I think will go really well with these biscuits. I recommend the Planet Cheddar cheese selection box which is a feast of four Westcountry cheddars including at least one of the great Somerset ultra-traditionals - Keens, Westcombe or Montgomery’s, then Quicke’s of Devon and for contrast, Godminster's distinctly modern cheddar.

So that you can try these great cheeses with our biscuits, we've teamed up with The Cheese Shed to offer you FREE delivery on any items you order from their website with code BBCS15 (use it before 7 November).

Savoury Chocolate Biscuits

The chocolate in these biscuits takes a supporting role rather than occupying centre stage. As a savoury cheese biscuit this has almost a shortbread quality about it, crunching and crumbling before melting into a sublime combination of buttery dark, salted chocolate with just a hint of heat behind it. I recommend using the silicone mat (silpat) to bake them on because they are always easy to remove, especially as these are very short and crumbly when they are just baked. When paired with mellow cheddar they are quite simply moreish.

Bread tip: If you can’t find your way to making these, you could try adding 2 - 3 tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder to your regular loaf with an extra two table spoons of water to keep the hydration levels the same, and mix the cocoa powder in to your flour, to give your everyday loaf a back note of chocolate, and bake as usual. It goes wonderfully with cheese.

Method

1. Sift the flour, paprika, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Add the chocolate.

2. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add 1 egg and mix to form a soft dough.

3. On a floured surface roll the dough into a large sausage. Beat the second egg then brush the sausage with it before rolling it on a tray with the poppy seeds.

4. Transfer the log to the fridge for an hour to chill.

5. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.

6. Using a sharp knife, slice the log in disks about 5mm thick before transferring onto a silpat. Bake for about 12 minutes – don’t be tempted to overdo them however: they don’t set properly until they are cold.

TIPS & USES

Put half the log away in the freezer to use another time.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

For a pretty finish, roll the biscuits in sesame seeds to cover the edges before baking.

Wrap in cellophane with a beautiful hunk of cheddar to make a cracking gift for cheese-loving men-folk!

To transform them into sweet chilli-chocolate biscuits, add 75g of sugar and increase the butter by 20g.

Makes about 25 Prep time 15 minutes Cooking time 12 minutes Suitable for freezing? Yes, prior to cooking

Ingredients:

220g “00” Soffiata flour 1/2 tsp paprika

Pinch of salt

4 tbsp cocoa powder 2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp baking powder 60g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), grated or chopped 145g butter

2 eggs

75g poppy seeds

Do you have a sourdough question for Vanessa? Send it to us and the best ones will appear in our next postbag edition and receive a dough whisk.

Suggestion Box

Are we missing something? An usual flour, a particular tin, or a special piece of equipment you’d like to see on our shelves? Let us know and if we decide to stock it, you will receive the very first one of the item you suggest.

Don’t forget to take a look at our clearance lines.

 

 

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