I’ve been feeling really old the last few days…I’ll be 29 later on this month, which yes, I know is not really very old at all. But I went out clubbing (to a rock club, of course) for the first time in over six months on Saturday, spent most of the night dancing and had a brilliant time; aaand it’s taken me four days to recover from it… I woke up the morning after and everything hurt! I like to think that I’m fairly fit, I walk at least six miles every day (dogs are brilliant for fitness), and do kettlebell/bodyweight workouts three times a week (how else do you think I get away with baking so much…?!); and yet a bit of dancing has completely done me in! Not to mention the bit where I didn’t get to bed till nearly 4am, that left me zombified for two days; I dread to think how awful I would have felt if I’d had a hangover as well…
So, needless to say, I haven’t really been in the mood for blogging this week; or baking, or much of anything for that matter, except sleep and Game of Thrones. Which is why I chose to make these chocolate, coffee and cardamom biscuits, as it is such a simple recipe. You just blitz everything together in a food processor, shape it into a sausage, chill, slice and bake. That doesn’t mean that they taste simple though, they have quite a deep, complex flavour. They don’t taste strongly of coffee, it is more of a back-note which enhances and intensifies the chocolate, and both the chocolate and coffee work perfectly with the warming cardamom. The texture is crisp, melt in the mouth and very addictive… I devoured four of them within seconds of removing them from the oven, and then four more as soon as they had cooled…They are definitely a grown-up kind of biscuit (and they do contain caffeine – win!), and are perfect with a cup of coffee for a double caffeine hit…The dominant flavour is the cardamom, I used a teaspoon of it, if you want a more subtle taste then reduce it to half a teaspoon.
They are super easy to make, and take under ten minutes to bake, but you do need to chill the dough well before slicing and baking them as it is quite soft. The brilliant thing about these kind of biscuits that are shaped into a log in clingfilm and sliced into rounds rather than rolled out, is that you only need to bake what you want to eat – the log of dough can just be stored in the freezer and you can slice bits off whenever you are in the mood for a biscuit. Theoretically saving you from overindulging… – you want two biscuits? Fine, just bake two… Not that that worked for me…
- 200g (1 + ⅔ cup) plain flour
- 50g (scant ½ cup) cocoa powder
- ½ to 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 4 tsp finely ground coffee
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 150g (1/2 cup + 2tbsp) cold butter, diced
- 150g (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- Place the flour, cocoa powder, cardamom, coffee, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, mix in the sugar then add the vanilla extract and egg and blend until the dough comes together. (If you don't have a food processor you can rub the butter into the dry ingredients by hand.)
- Shape the dough into a rough log and place it on a long piece of clingfilm, fold the clingfilm over the dough and roll it into an approx 4cm wide sausage, twist the ends of the clingfilm tightly to seal. The dough will be quite soft at this point but will firm up after chilling so don't worry if you can't get it very neat at this point, you can always reshape it after it has been in the fridge for a while.
- Place the log in the fridge for at least an hour, or in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5 and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
- Once the dough is firm, use a sharp knife to cut it into slices approx 5mm wide and place them fairly well spaced apart on the baking sheet. Re-wrap the leftover dough and store in the freezer.
- Bake the biscuits for 8-10 minutes until slightly risen and beginning to firm around the edges, they will crisp up upon cooling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.