Saturday, 16 October 2010

Hazelnut Mocha Cream Biscuits

This is my entry to the October 'We Should Cocoa' challenge - to make a product containing chocolate in some form plus an added special ingredient - in this case hazelnuts or cobnuts. This month the challenge is hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog and full details of the 'We Should Cocoa' challenge can be found there.

These biscuits are a crisp hazelnut, shortbread type of biscuit, sandwiched with a coffee-flavoured, chocolate cream filling.

Ingredients - biscuits
100g whole hazelnuts
190g plain flour
175g butter
115g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling (based on a recipe by Dan Lepard)
100g plain chocolate
125g icing sugar
50g butter - softened
25ml double cream
25ml Tia Maria or other coffee liqueuer
1 teaspoon instant coffee of coffee extract flavouring

To make the biscuits
Finely grind the hazelnuts with 3 tablespoons of the flour.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, then mix in the nuts and remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough, in two batches, to roughly 3mm thick and cut into circles with a 6cm cutter. Re-roll the trimmings to make more rounds, trying to get an even number! Place the rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment, allowing a little room for spreading, and bake at 170C for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.
Leave on the trays for 3 minutes to firm up, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make the filling
Dissolve the teaspoon of coffee in the cream and liqueur. Melt the plain chocolate and leave until barely warm but still soft. Beat the butter into the chocolate, followed by the cream mixture, then the icing sugar. When the mixture is smooth, use it to sandwich two biscuits together.

This filling recipe has been in my mind since I first made it nearly a year ago. It sets fairly firm, so is ideal for sandwiching biscuits together; no messy squirting when the biscuit is bitten into! This was the first hazelnut shortbread recipe I tried, and although it worked quite well and made a crisp biscuit, they spread more than I expected while cooking. If I had more time (and if hazelnuts were cheaper!), I might have tried other recipes to find a better one, but this will have to do for now!


cocoa and coconut said...

Oh sandwich cookies are so delicious! I love how it oozes out. Great combination by the way

Celia said...

Suelle, they look fantastic - I love how even and regular they all are!

Suelle said...

Brittany - no oozing with this filling - it sets quite solid.

Celia - your comment made me laugh. It took ages to match up enough biscuits for 6 pairs and I've a pile of unmatched biscuits left! I'd hoped they wouldn't spread at all, and would all be the same size but that wasn't to be.

Caroline said...

I think they look great Suelle - you must have done a good job with the mix and match - a bit like when you're trying to pair up all the socks after washing and trying to figure out whose are whose and whether the old ones have been paired with the new ones by mistake!

I like the idea of a filling that sets fairly solidly - it's difficult to eat a biscuit where the filling is squidging everywhere.

Love the photography too - really elegant.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Suelle. I'm delighted to get the recipe for the filling though - Thanks. I do like to maintain my ladylike pose while having my afternoon tea and biscuits ... not!!

Choclette said...

I knew we would be in for a treat from you Suelle and indeed that's so. I do hope you weren't disappointed, spreading not withstanding. These look superb and sound delicious.

Suelle said...

C - thanks for your comment on the photography. I'm nowhere near as good as I would like to be but occasionally have a flash of inspiration. I have to rely on daylight too, which isn't always good at this time of year.

I did better with the biscuits than I do with Hubs' socks - there are always one or two odd ones in his sock drawer.

somesaycocoa - do try the filling sometime - I'm sure you'll like it.

Choclette - thanks for your comment - I welcome the chance to be a bit more inventive than usual (as long as CT will eat the result!). Hubs preferred the plain biscuits!

Joanna said...

Look lovely Suelle! I'd munch my way through that plate any time and I'd eat the odd ones too :)

Chele said...

Wow! Very impressive Suelle, they look very posh ;0)
Thanks for taking part in this month's challenge!