So. Bake off is back on air. Rain in the forecast and generally cooler temperature is back.
It’s bake time!
I am going to probably do the same thing every week. Watch bake off, proclaim that I want to bake something similar to what they did on the show. Either not follow through with it, or get super inspired to make some truly mediocre goods.
When they did biscuit week a few weeks ago, they made sandwiched biscuits/cookies on the show with some very tempting flavours. I thought, I can bake cookies, and I can probably make a basic buttercream filling so this shouldn’t be too hard right? I am not on a TV show so it doesn’t even need to be pretty or super inventive.
One of the things they mentioned on the show is that your biscuit texture and your filling should go together. If you have a soft filling and a crispy biscuit, the moment you bit into it the filling is going to squeeze out from the back and you don’t want that. With that in mind, I thought it’d be great if I make a chocolate cookie (I am sorry for all the intermixing of terms) and fill it with coffee cream cuz I happen to have far too much coffee at home. Even though I don’t drink coffee, I quite enjoy coffee sweets.
They say baking chocolate anything is tricky because if you can’t tell if it is done by looking at its colour. By the time you noticed the colour change in a chocolate anything, it’d be the colour of burnt bits. I watched the first batch like a hawk, and made sure the oven isn’t on too high, they didn’t go in for too long. Still a good number in the batch were overbaked. So frustrating!
The first batch was a bit too thick and a bit too hard. They were great to eat on their own but the filling shoots out from the back the moment you bite into them. They were good if you twist them open and just eat the two sides on their own. I thought maybe they’d be better if I roll the dough a bit thinner? They’d maybe snap a bit better. Or I can make the buttercream harder by increasing the butter ratio? Quite a few things I can do.
In the end I changed the whole recipe around and this time the biscuit dough is completely different. I was so sure it is completely ruined because the dough was SO soft and sticky! It stuck to everything even after some chilling in the fridge. The only solution I have is the really flour your surface and rolling pin if you wanna roll it out. I am thinking it might work well as a drop cookie maybe?
I really like the resulting cookies and it is definitely good to eat on its own. I have also been using a coarse salt for the bake and you actually get some individual salt crystals in the final cookie. I quite like occasional burst of salt, but I will probably switch to fine salt next time now that we have some.
For the Chocolate Biscuits:
220g Unsalted Butter at room temperature
180g Granulated Sugar
250g All Purpose Flour, plus extra for dusting
50g Unsweeten Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1. Cream softened butter and sugar till light and fluffy and looks like soft cream cheese.
2. Add in the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract after that.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder together. You probably don’t HAVE to sift, but with cocoa powder I’d recommend sifting because they can be lumpy.
4. Mix flour into butter mixture till combined. The dough is soft and sticky. Wrap in clingfilm and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat Oven to 175°c/350°f.
6. Heavily flour all your surfaces. Roll the dough out to about 5mm thick. Cut out in desired shapes. I recommend circle, because it is a sticky sticky dough. Don’t forget to dip your cutter in flour as well. It will help.
7. Place your cookies on a flat baking sheet on top of parchment or silicone baking mat. Bake for around 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. Watch them like a hawk.
For the Buttercream filling:
200g Butter, Cubed and room temperature
125g Icing Sugar
2 Tbsp strong brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1/2 Tsp ground Cardamom (optional!)
1. Cream the butter and icing sugar together. Add the icing sugar a bit at a time otherwise it’d explode into a cloud of sugary smoke and a huge mess.
2. Once the butter-sugar mixture is smooth and creamy. Add in the coffee and cardamom if using. This is a really simple buttercream, but if it curdles, just turn the speed up and it should come back.
3. Put the mixture in your piping bag and pipe a dollop in your cookie, and sandwich them!
4. Eat the cookies, eat the leftover buttercream. It is so good.