Images and recipes from Chocolate by Kirsten Tibballs (Murdoch Books) RRP $49.99 available now in all good bookstores and online.
Chocolate Pecan Biscuits
Makes: 45 Difficulty: Easy
Pecans and chocolate make a great flavour combination in this simple recipe. Feel free to serve these with or without the chocolate coating.
125 g (41/2 oz/11/4 cups) pecans
150 g (51/2 oz) unsalted butter
150 g (51/2 oz/2⁄3 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
90 g (31/4 oz/about 11/2) whole eggs
125 g (41/2 oz) good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
60 g (21/4 oz) self-raising flour
125 g (41/2 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Method Chocolate Pecan Biscuits
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Put the pecans on a baking tray and roast them for 8–10 minutes. Once cool, roughly chop them.
In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy and the butter is fully incorporated – scrape the bowl down at regular intervals. Add the cinnamon and eggs.
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave (see page 12). Add the chocolate to the butter mixture and continue to mix, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed, until combined. Finally add the dry ingredients and chopped pecans. Continue mixing just until combined and a dough forms. Press the dough into an even, flat square, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour, until firm.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) and line a baking tray with a non-stick mat or baking paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling it out. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough out to an 8 mm (3/8 inch) thickness. Cut the biscuits into 4 cm (11/2 inch) squares. Using a small knife, pick up each biscuit and place it on the prepared tray approximately 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) apart, as they will spread a little during baking. (Instead of rolling the biscuit dough out you can simply use a teaspoon and spoon small amounts onto the lined tray.) Bake for 9–10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on the tray to cool at room temperature.
60 g (21/4 oz) pecans
250 g (9 oz) good-quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
To make the garnish, preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F). Put the pecans on a baking tray and roast them for 8–10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Temper the dark chocolate (see pages 12–14). Once the biscuits are cool, dip the top in the chocolate and immediately place a cooled roasted pecan on top. Leave at room temperature to set. These biscuits are best eaten within a week and stored at room temperature in an airtight container. If your room temperature is warm, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.