As I mentioned in my previous post, I am back to Baking 101 until I get used to my new oven and baking environment. Shortbread biscuits, an unbeatable classic, turned out to be a great test for that. I have never worked so fast and refrigerated the batter so many times to avoid the butter melting and turning it all into a gooey mess. Now I see why shortbread originates from Scotland – it is probably the only place where baking it would be effortless.
Nevertheless, these biscuits turned out beautiful and orange and chocolate combination proved to be a great way to spice up the original recipe. I’m definitely going to try new combinations next time, but would love to hear if you have any advice on baking in hot/humid environment?
55g caster sugar
grated peel of 1 orange
a few drops of orange extract
70g dark chocolate
chopped nuts (optional)
In a medium sized bowl beat butter, sugar, orange peel and a few drops of orange extract together until smooth. Stir in the flour until mixed and smooth.
Turn on to a work surface and gently roll out the batter until it is just under 1 cm thick. Cut into squares or fingers and place onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 190C. Bake shortbread for 15-20 minutes or until pale golden in colour. Set aside to cool on a tray for a little bit and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the shortbread has cooled to room temperature, melt the chocolate by microwaving it in 30 second intervals (stirring after each) until chocolate has melted completely. Dip biscuits into the chocolate to form desired pattern. Return to a wire rack and top with chopped nuts.
I‘ve got some pretty big news to share this week, guys! Starting from June Hey Cakes HQ is moving out of London as my boyfriend and I have decided to start a new life in Barcelona. Well, actually it won’t be a completely new life as we’ve got family and quite a few friends living there. So I would rather call it a relocation with hope that some day all my friends move there (yup, I’m that selfish).
I have already quit my day job, but we haven’t started packing yet, so at this moment I have too much time on my hands. That, of course, means lots of bakin’, bakin’, bakin’ and sticking to recipes that allow me to use up whatever I already have in the food cupboard. These dark chocolate chip oat biscuits are a perfect sweet, crunchy and chunky example of that.
DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT BISCUITS (Makes 20)
115g butter, softened
115g light brown sugar
100g rolled oats
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
75g of dark chocolate (I used 85% dark chocolate), broken into pieces
Grease 2 large baking sheets and preheat oven to 180°C.
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Add oats, milk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Fold in the chocolate pieces.
Place spoonfuls of the biscuit mixture on the prepared baking sheets and move the tray into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until the biscuits have slightly risen, but are still soft to the touch. Transfer to wire rack to let the biscuits cool completely.
Adapted from The Sweet Treats Collection book by Love Food
First of all, Happy New Year! I hope you had wonderful holidays! Last weeks were way more active and adventurous than usually, hence the lack of new posts over last two weeks.
These holidays, spent with family and friends in Catalonia and Latvia, saw me trying many things for the first time. Including a visit to super cute medieval town of Besalu, playing bingo, hearing my boyfriend play in a punk band, playing paintball outdoors in -10°c and solving logical puzzles in a prison setting.
All of these were so much fun and I decided that doing more new things will be my New Year’s resolution. As part of this, I baked these easy to make nut shaped and caramel filled biscuits (“riekstiņi”) that have the taste of childhood written all over them. Can’t believe I never tried making these considering that it’s my favourite biscuit ever!
Traditionally these were made in casting iron pans, but unless your grandmother has one, it is very hard to get hold of these now. I opted for simple cases that I bought in Latvia. In case you can’t find those anywhere, I would say that making simple round cookies and sandwiching caramel between two of those will do the trick.
CARAMEL BISCUITS(Makes about 40 biscuits)
1 ½ cups flour
125g room temperature butter
1/4 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt