Recipe for homemade Choc-Kit chocolate biscuits. They’re slightly crispier than the store-bought version, but just as delicious
250 g butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1.5 cups desiccated coconut
2.5 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp cocoa
200 g melted chocolate
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and oil until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence, then the eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Mix until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Add the sifted dry ingredients and the coconut to the butter mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients have been incorporated.
If NOT using a cookie press, form a ball of dough with your hands and roll it into a cylinder about 2.5cm in diameter. Wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 mins (otherwise it will be too soft to work with). Remove from refrigerator and slice into rounds about 1cm thick. Place the rounds on a baking sheet covered in baking paper, leaving about 2cm around each cookie.
If using a cookie press, fill the press with dough and fit a plain icing nozzle with a wide opening. Pipe small ovals about 4cm long onto a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
Bake at 180C/350F for 15-20 minutes. Remove the cookies and cool completely on a wire rack.
Melt and temper the chocolate (see notes below), then working quickly, spread the flat base of a cookie with a generous amount of chocolate, sandwich with another cookie, and place on a rack for the chocolate to harden. Repeat until all cookies have been sandwiched.
As the chocolate for sandwiching the cookies has to harden enough to hold them together and preferable remain shiny and pretty, you should temper the chocolate before sandwiching the cookies. Tempering chocolate is one of those culinary activities that acquires mythical status – people believe it is more difficult than it really is and are put off working with chocolate because of it. In a nutshell: when you melt a chocolate bar, its chemical composition changes subtly and to get it to behave like the chocolate we all know (glossy; hard enough to snap), you need to make some very specific temperature changes in order to cause the crystals in the chocolate to behave in a certain way, and to make sure the cocoa butter and cocoa solids do not separate and cause unsightly white marks on your chocolate. Far more experienced folks than me have written excellent pieces on tempering – I would refer you to David Lebovitz’s excellent chocolate tempering in a nutshell guide. I did give it a go but discovered that my candy thermometer is useless as it only starts at 100F/37C, and I was meant to be working at lower temperatures. Oh well. It’s not fatal, but I can’t say it was a textbook case of chocolate tempering! LESSON LEARNT: get a chocolate tempering thermometer that measures temperatures below 100F/37C.
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