Reviews, recipes, ramblings and other gourmet bites. A food blog of indulgence...

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Let It Snow ... (but only if it's going to do it properly)

 It had to happen really. For days now there have been articles in the papers prophesying snowclouds of doom, and today they emptied their feathery, freezing little minions all over London.

Now, I am generally a big fan of snow. I never saw very much as a kid, but since moving to London I've had some brilliant snow days and made my very first snow angel. This time around, however, the snow has yet to settle, so we've got that lovely film of treacherous greyish slush on the pavements, and the snowflakes seem to be making a beeline for MY EYES, so I scuttle along blinking frantically like a bemused and shivery mole. In a hat.

Anyway, I do not wish to sound like a wintry Scrooge, I do genuinely love this time of year and am already starting to get very excited about Christmas. I am also excited by the recipe below.

I got back from a wonderful day in frosty Cambridge with friends on Sunday, having been for a walk to Grantchester along the river. I did take some pictures but they were all pants and don't do the scenery anywhere near justice, so am sulking and keeping them to myself. Some of the manlier (and frankly madder) members of the group went for a brief dip in the Cam, which involved breaking through a sheet of ice first. Bonkers, the lot of them! Having got back at a reasonable time on Sunday night, I decided to try out a recipe I'd stumbled upon on the truly scrumptious Foodbeam (if you don't already know it, check it out - the desserts Fanny comes up with are sure to make you drool.)

This recipe is for chocolate chip cookies, and it is, in my humble opinion, genius. It has wiped the floor with my previous failsafe cookie recipe, that's for sure. Its majesty lies in the fact that you bake the cookies in a muffin pan - something I'd never considered before.

You end up with deep, chewy sort of cookie-pies, which can cope with proper chunks of chocolate, rather than just chocolate chips. The addition of sea salt also gives them a really moreish bite, which unfortunately means that you can eat several of them in one sitting without them getting sickly. Oh well, there's always tomorrow to start dieting ...

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Fanny Zanotti at Foodbeam

The original recipe calls for a large quantity of muscovado sugar, which I find rather too treacly for my taste. I've adapted the quantities here to include demerara as well as muscovado. This does mean using slightly more sugar than the original recipe, but the end product is still delicious, and not too sweet.

Makes 12 cookies


90g butter, softened (or practically melted in my case having put it to warm in the oven and left it for rather too long) I used salted butter, and adjusted the quantity of sea salt to accommodate this.
40g caster sugar
20g dark muscovado sugar
150g demerara sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
100g plain flour
100g strong white bread flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
3g Maldon sea salt
80g dark chocolate, chopped into smallish chunks

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Gas mark 4)
  2. With a wooden spoon, cream together the sugars and the softened butter until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the beaten egg and mix well.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.
  5. Sift in the flours, baking powder and the salt. Mix together until it's starting to look doughy.
  6. Add the chocolate chunks, then get in amongst it with your hands and knead it.
  7. Keep going until you've got a firm dough, and all the flour has been incorporated.
  8. Lightly grease a muffin pan.
  9. Roll the dough into balls between your hands - each one should be roughly satsuma sized.
  10. Press them down into the holes in the muffin pan, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Keep them in tupperware and try not to eat them all at once.

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