readingBitter-Sweet Chocolate Heart Biscuits

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Bitter-Sweet Chocolate Heart Biscuits
Recipe - 18 January 2019

Introduction

A wonderfully crisp chocolate biscuit that can be decorated as much or as little as you desire. Perfect as a gift for your Valentine!

Preparation

1 hour

Cook Time

15-18 minutes

Serves

Makes 20-30

Difficulty

Easy

Ingredients

  • 140g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa, plus more to dust
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • TO DECORATE (OPTIONAL)
  • 100g icing sugar, or fondant icing sugar
  • Pot of pink food colour paste
  • 20g dark chocolate, melted
  • Pot of hundreds and thousands
  • TOOLS
  • Variety of heart-shaped cutters, about 5-8cm

Method

1. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt.

2. In a food mixer (or using a large bowl and a hand-held electric whisk), beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the egg yolk and syrup, then gradually the flour mixture, until you have a smooth dough.

3. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

4. Dust a work surface with cocoa and roll the dough out to 4-5mm thick. Using heart-shaped cutters, cut out the biscuits and place on the trays, keeping the smaller on one and the larger on the other. Re-roll to use all the dough; you should have 20-30. At this point you can freeze the cut-out biscuits.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes for small biscuits and 15-18 minutes for large. Leave on the tray for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. For a simple finish, dust with cocoa and serve.

7. If you want to decorate the hearts, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add 2-3 tsp of water, little by little, stirring all the time until you have a good spreadable consistency like thick cream.

8. Divide the icing between three bowls. Using the food colour paste, colour the icing three different shades of pink. Cover each with the cling film until ready to use, as it dries out quite quickly.

9. Spread a little icing on each biscuit, using a teaspoon to ease it over the surface, or dip half a biscuit into the icing (if you used fondant icing sugar, it will be less likely to run off the biscuits). Leave a few plain and drizzle with chocolate, using the tines of a fork.

10. You can flick the chocolate over a few pink iced biscuits and swirl with a cocktail stick or knife, in patterns. (You can also do this with contrasting icing colours) Sprinkle with hundreds and thousands, if you like. Do all this before the icing sets, then allow to dry. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container.

Copyright (c) Fiona Cairns, 2013. Photography by Dan Jones. Extracted from SEASONAL BAKING by Fiona Cairns published by Orion Publishing

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