Chocolate Almond Crinkles

Some days, do you ever feel like just gorging down a whole pack or two of carbs? With a warm cup of tea in your hand, under the duvet covers whilst watching a whole series on Netflix non-stop? I feel like that every day but the point is these cookies are perfect for those girly lazy days indoors.

These crinkles are chocolate-y and rich and just melts in your mouth. Be careful when adding the almond extract though. I accidentally tipped in a tablespoon or so, so the batch ended up tasting quite strong of almond (which I’m not a big fan of).

Ingredients:

  • 156g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 56g butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 100g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Melt chocolate with butter in a medium pan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in eggs, granulated sugar, and almond extract. Stir in flour mixture, then stir in almonds. Chill, covered, until firm, about 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
  3. Sift icing sugar onto a plate. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into balls and roll balls, as formed, in icing sugar to generously coat. Arrange balls 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

Parmesan Cheese Biscuits

Due to my sweet tooth, most of my bakes have only been sweet things such as cakes, cupcakes, etc. I’ve been trying to improve my range of baking by throwing savoury in the mix. So here we are, with this parmesan cheese biscuit recipe… Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 100g cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 100g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaped tsp of mustard powder
  • 50g finely grated mature cheddar
  • 50g finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients, except for the egg, in a food processor. Process to begin with, then finely pulse the mixture in short spurts. The cheese will eventually bind the mixture together. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll out the pastry to about 1.5cm. Cut out the biscuits using a round cookie cutter then lay on the baking tray.
  4. Brush the surface of each biscuit with the egg and sprinkle with parmesan.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown in colour.

Mango Macarons

I remember the first time I’ve made macarons… what came out of the oven, didn’t look like macarons. But looked more like oaty and round brown blobs. It was the worse baker’s nightmare ever imagined and I still shiver at the thought of that time to this day on.

But, bowls of almond flour and icing sugar later, I’ve slowly learned how to make (a more decent/acceptable) macarons. It gets better and better each time. Now, I’ve even learned to experiment with the flavours and ingredients. Mango is one of my favourite fruits and I wanted to recreate it in macaron version. So hope you enjoy this recipe!

Ingredients:
For the macarons:

  • 110g almond flour, sifted
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • Yellow food gel

For the mango buttercream:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp mango food flavouring or 3 tbsp mango puree
  • Yellow food gel

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180c/375F/Gas Mark 4. Line 1 or 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Grind the almond flour and icing sugar in a food processor for 15-30 seconds. 
  3. Using an electric freestanding or hand mixer, beat egg whites on medium-low for 1-2 minutes until it becomes frothy. Increase to medium and gradually add the sugar and salt and beat until soft peaks form, about 2-3 minutes. Increase to high and beat until very stiff and shiny, for about 2-3 more minutes. Add food gel and beat for a further minute. Be careful not to overbeat, otherwise you might have to start over.
  4. Sift dry ingredients over the meringue and fold carefully. 
  5. Move the mixture into a piping bag with the end snipped off. Pipe the mixture into small round discs on the parchment paper. Carefully bang the tray against the surface to get rid of the air bubbles that may surface. Leave for 30 minutes to 1 hour then bake for 10 minutes.
  6. To make the buttercream, beat butter until soft then add icing sugar, mango flavouring/puree and food gel until it reaches the desired consistency.