Today marks the start of about three weeks of eating. I have Christmas dinner #1 of 3 at work and then there's all the cakes and cheese and everything else. Not that I'm complaining, Christmas food is possibly my favourite type of food but I'm already missing the gym. I've not wrapped any presents so this week I am buying the sherry and sitting down to wrap.
Apologies to whoever gets their present wrapped last because, well...sherry.
I've got a great little giveaway today, Jane Hornby's new book 'What to Bake & How to Bake it' (by Phaidon). This would make a perfect gift for someone just starting out in the kitchen or wanting to build on their knowledge. The more pictures with a recipe the better IMO and I love that you can see the stages of each recipe in this book. I'm actually a little sad to give it away! I struggled to pick just one thing to bake and along with these chocolate cookies I also made the jaffa marble loaf below.
Wanting to mix it up a little bit I replaced the chocolate chips with chopped crystallised ginger which added a lovely warmth, especially with the treacle. It ended up a sort of chocolate gingerbread cookie hybrid, which is absolutely nothing to complain about at all. I also only had light brown sugar to hand and the recipe still worked brilliantly so I wouldn't worry about that. The recipes are easy to follow and Jane also includes tips and facts about the science behind using certain ingredients or methods.
This giveaway is open to all UK residents and ends on Thursday 18th December so it should arrive in time for Christmas.
I just did two other things differently from the recipe: I melted the butter in a pan and then added the chocolate - this made no difference, it just saved me from setting up a double boiler. I also refrigerated my cookies for an hour before baking, because I always like to let my cookies rest a little bit before baking. In this case I couldn't say how much difference this made because mine looked very much like the ones in the book but I've developed cookie baking habits that are hard to let go of.
Dark Chocolate and Ginger Cookies
175g dark chocolate, chopped
85g unsalted butter
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
200g light or dark brown sugar
1 generous tablespoon of treacle
185g plain flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
70g crystallised ginger, chopped (add more depending on your preference)
- Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/gas mark 4. Line two baking trays with grease proof paper and set aside.
- In a medium pan, melt your butter and add your chopped chocolate - with the heat on low - stirring regularly until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Make sure it doesn't burn.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk, sugar and treacle for about a minute until the mixture becomes paler.
- Beat in the melted butter and chocolate mixture.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and fold in until you get a soft dough like mixture.
- Quickly fold in the chopped ginger before the dough thickens too much.
- Roll dessertspoon sized amounts of dough into a ball, place on the baking tray and flatten slightly. Do this for all the dough. If you want to refrigerate your dough that's fine, just don't preheat the oven until you are ready.
- Bake for 10 minutes, they will look quite thick when you bring them out the oven but they will settle down. Let them firm up before moving over to a cooling rack.