Occasionally I get the urge to bake something, but don't feel like heading out to the shop to buy ingredients, so I'll cobble something together from what I have in the cupboard. These biscuits are the result of one such occasion.
They consist of a basic shortbread mixture with pieces of crystallised ginger mixed through and are coated in chocolate. The shortbread is buttery, light and crumbly and the ginger gives a nice hint of warmth. It's important to use proper butter, not margarine or baking spread for this recipe as it wont give as good a flavour or texture.
These biscuits are quick and simple to make but are surprisingly sophisticated, not to mention delicious!
Makes 23 biscuits.
- 125g (½ cup + 1tsp) Unsalted butter, softened
- 60g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 125g (1 cup + 1tsp) plain flour
- 60g (½ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
- Pinch salt
- 60g (2 oz) crystallised ginger, chopped
- 100g (3.5 oz) chocolate (milk, dark or white)
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Sift over the flour and cornflour, add the pinch of salt and mix it all together until it is smooth, but hasn't yet formed a ball of dough. Stir in the crystallised ginger until it is evenly distributed, then bring the dough together, but do not knead. Roll the dough out into a fat sausage shape, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour, if you are short on time, chuck it in the freezer for 15 minutes.
While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 and line two baking sheets with silicone liners or baking parchment.
Unwrap the log of dough and slice off pieces approx 5mm wide and place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little bit of space between them for them to spread. Bake for 12-15 minutes until turning golden around the edges and carefully transfer (they are delicate) to a wire rack to cool.
Once the biscuits are cold, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, don't let the base of the bowl touch the water or any water drip into the bowl else the chocolate could seize. By all means melt the chocolate in a microwave if you prefer, I however find this to be a nerve-wracking experience and more often than not end up with a bowl of charred chocolate... I used milk chocolate for my biscuits simply because that was what I had in the cupboard, but I think that dark chocolate would be best, it's your choice what to use.
Pick up a biscuit and hold it over the bowl of chocolate, spoon chocolate over one half of the biscuit, letting any drips fall back into the bowl, then place it on a silicone liner or sheet of baking parchment, it is easier to peel them off these once the chocolate is set than off a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the biscuits and leave to harden.
These would also look nice if the chocolate was piped across in a zig zag.