Sunday, 29 November 2009

Chocolate & Crystallised Ginger Biscuits

The worthy winner of the Biscuits & Cookies category from Hannah Jones

225g soft unsalted butter
110g caster sugar
275g plain flour
25g crystallised ginger
200g bar dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 170C. Cream the butter, then add in the sugar and beat until pale and soft. Chop the ginger into small pieces and mix it with the flour. Add the ginger and flour to the sugar and butter and mix until you have a dough.

Break off walnut-sized balls and roll in your hands until smooth. Place on a baking tray and press into them with the back of a fork to pattern 'n' flatten. Bake for around 15 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. Near the end of the cooking time, watch them obsessively so you don't miss the optimum colour, as biscuits are sly and will burn on you in a second.

Take them out of the oven and immediately transfer them from the tray to a wire rack. When they're cold, melt the chocolate in a bowl. You will have far more chocolate than you need, but melting a large quantity makes it much easier to coat the biscuits smoothly. Dip the biscuits halfway into the chocolate, gently combing off any drips or runners with a teaspoon. Leave on greaseproof paper until the chocolate has set.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Tart

Thank you to Ralph Sinclair for his winning Tart recipe.
150g digestive biscuits
75g caster sugar
120g unsalted butter, melted
200g cream cheese
200g peanut (or other nut) butter
100g caster sugar
120ml double cream
80g caster sugar
125ml double cream
70g dark chocolate
60g unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. First make the crust. Put the biscuits into a plastic bag and bash into fine crumbs (or blitz in a food processor). Mix with the sugar and butter, then press into the base and sides of a loose-bottomed 23cm flan tin. Put the tin on a tray (some butter may seep out during cooking) and bake for eight to 10 minutes. Press against the sides if it pulls away a bit, then leave to cool.

Mix the cheese with the peanut butter and sugar. Whip the cream to stiff peaks - do not overbeat. Fold into the peanut mixture, then spoon into the cooled crust and smooth it down so it's 0.25cm from the top.

For the topping, put the sugar and cream in a pan, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for six minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and stir in the chocolate and butter until melted. Pour over the tart and chill for at least three hours or overnight.