Unfortunately, I have been off my feet for a while and unable to cook or bake; something which does not sit very well with me!!! I decided to leaf through my ever growing cookbook collection to find a simple recipe to ease myself back in. My recipe of choice was taken from the Great British Bake Off cookbook.
100g dark chocolate 70% cocoa solids
150g light brown muscovado sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp icing sugar
Grease a baking tray with some extra margarine.
Break the chocolate into small chunks and put in a large heatproof bowl. Set over a pan of steaming hot water and leave to melt gently.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the margarine. When the mixture is completely smooth, stir in the sugar and leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Beat the egg with the vanilla until combined and add to the chocolate mixture.
Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix well. Put the bowl in the fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Divide the cookie dough into 30 even pieces and roll into balls before rolling in the icing sugar and covering well.
Put the cookie dough balls on the prepared baking tray, leaving a good amount of space in between to allow room for spreading.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, leave on the baking tray for a few minutes before using a pallet knife to transfer to a wire rack to cool.
As always, I made a few adjustments to the recipe. I only had 40g of 70% solids chocolate in my baking storage room (yes, room. It used to be a large storage box which resided in a small storage room off the kitchen. This box now seems to have overflowed into the room much to my boyfriend’s frustration!!) so I had to improvise and use Cadbury’s Bournville for the rest. I really don’t think this was detrimental to the cookies like the recipe states it could have been. Of course 70% solids is always better however, baking is also about improvisation and using what you have in!
I also added a pinch of salt to the cookie dough as salt and chocolate really are the perfect combination and compliment each other perfectly. Make sure you aren’t too heavy-handed with the salt mind you!!
I found that the cooking times published in the book were a little bit out. The recipe stated that the biscuits needed to be cooked for 10 minutes for soft and 12 minutes for slightly firmer cookies. I cooked my first batch for 10 minutes and found that they were a bit bitter and overdone. I cooked my second batch for 8 minutes and found that they were much more to my taste! Of course this probably says more about my oven than it does the recipe!!
I wasn’t sure if the cookies were my best as I certainly was feeling a bit below par however, Neil wolfed down 8 with a glass of milk the minute he came in from work. Perhaps these cookies have helped me get my baking mojo back after all!