Roasted Cocoa Chocolate Biscuits

Light, dark, light, dark

Light, dark, light, dark

We had an exhibition in our building at work recently, for a conference delightfully named ‘Death, Dying and Disposal’. They displayed coffins but not your standard wide-shouldered Dracula’s Choice box . Oh no, some of these were works of art. My office looks down over the display area so a group of us were staring down at them when I looked up and noticed what the roof of the building was doing – perfectly arranged alternating segments of light and dark. I didn’t take any pictures of the coffins, but that moment of light and shade had to be photographed, and shared 🙂

Talking of dark – these are definitely the blackest thing I’ve ever baked. Very very dark chocolate cookies. And they’re delicious. The dough keeps well in the fridge but I did find it was very hard to mould unless zapped in the microwave for a few seconds. I took a batch on these into work on Friday and they were highly praised indeed! [I’m also going to share a really sad little squee – my Friday tweet about these was picked up and I got a reply from Dan! And I quite like playing with Storify :)]  Deeply chocolatey as these are, I wonder if they would take another flavour – midnight chocolate and orange, perhaps?

Roasting the cocoa was an interesting experience: the kitchen filled with a really intense chocolate scent which vanished in seconds after I’d finished baking. I didn’t think the shade had changed much until I compared these two pics side by side:

Before

Before

After

After

Here’s the rest of the recipe and photos:

IMG_2597

First batch

Roasted cocoa cookies (recipe here)
Makes 20

  • 25g cocoa
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 100g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 225g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 125g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  1. Line a baking tray with nonstick paper and heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4. Spread the cocoa on the tray in a layer roughly ½ cm thick then bake. In the first 5 minutes the cocoa will oxidise and darken slightly, but you actually want to go much darker than that. I bake mine for about 25 minutes in a fan oven until it turns a very dark brown without burning. But if it starts to colour very quickly then you can take it out after 5 minutes if you like. Different cocoa brands will bake faster or slower, so check every five minutes till you get the roast colour that suits you. Then remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate and pour into a mixing bowl (I just use the microwave).
  3. Stir in the sugar then the vanilla, egg, cocoa, flour and soda. Leave for at least an hour to cool and firm slightly (or store in the refrigerator for up to a week) before using
  4. Take spoonfuls of the dough, about 30g, roll them into balls and place on a tray lined with nonstick baking paper. Press the balls slightly flat then bake at 180C/160C fan/350F/gas mark 4 for about 15 minutes until they’ve spread and taken on a rich blackish brown colour. Remove from the oven and leave to set slightly before moving them to a wire rack to cool.
Friday morning batch

Friday morning batch

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