Photo by Laura Edwards
With their crackly tops and hidden chilli ‘firework’ inside, these biscuits are perfect for bonfire night. The chilli adds a delicious warmth but the biscuits can also be made without it.
MAKES AT LEAST 30
175 g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids
50 g unsalted butter
1 tsp Camp® coffee essence
100 g hazelnuts, toasted
175 g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp hot chilli powder, or to taste
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
150 g caster sugar
50 g granulated sugar
50 g icing sugar icing sugar or cocoa powder, to dust
YOUWILL ALSO NEED
Small ice-cream scoop (optional)
Put the chocolate, butter and coffee essence in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmeringwater. Once the ingredients have melted together, take off the heat and leave to cool a little.
Put the hazelnuts in a food processor or blender with the flour, salt, chilli powder, cinnamon and baking powder and whizz until finely ground. Alternatively, put the nuts in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin finely, then mix with the ingredients by hand.
Whisk the eggs and caster sugar in a mixer at a high speed for 5–6 minutes, until the mixture looks pale and mousse-like. Add the cooled melted chocolate and whisk gently until just combined.
Using a large metal spoon, fold the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 1 hour, or even overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/Mark 3 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Put the granulated sugar in one bowl and the icing sugar in another. Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, take pieces of the chilled dough (it will be quite hard) and roll into balls using your hands. Roll each ball first in the granulated sugar, then in the icing sugar and place on the prepared baking trays. I like the biscuits puffed up and round, but if you’d prefer a flatter version, press them down with your hand before putting them in the oven.
Bake for 12–15 minutes, until the tops of the biscuits are cracked. Cool on their trays. Dust with icing sugar or cocoa powder to serve.
‘Biscuit by Miranda Gore Browne is published by Ebury Press, priced £14.99’