Monday, 13 March 2017

Date and Ginger Chocolate Chip Biscuits

Biscuits aren't one of my favourite things to make; in general there's too much faffing about to make them worth the effort. They might look more decorative but you can usually get the same amount of eating pleasure from a traybake cut into squares or bars, with lots less work for the cook. However, put the name Dan Lepard to a biscuit recipe, and it's one I'll look at twice, and by the second time I'll probably be eagerly searching the storecupboard, to check I've got all the ingredients. It's no coincidence that this is my second biscuit bake this year (see here), and they are both Dan's recipes - previously I hadn't made any biscuits since July last year!

I think it must be the (sometimes unusual) combinations of flavours that Dan uses, and that he tries to maximise the impact of those flavours, which makes his recipes so appealing to me. In this case, I love the combination of dates with chocolate, and ginger with chocolate, as well as dates and ginger, but the only time I've ever used the three ingredients together is in another Dan Lepard recipe - Chocolate Passion Cake, where the dates were used as an egg replacement rather than a flavouring ingredient.

These Date and Ginger Chocolate Chip Biscuits, published on the Good Food, Australia site, were relatively quick and easy to make, as the method is based on melting butter and sugar together, before mixing in the other ingredients. I used cocoa, rather than carob, and dark muscovado sugar but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.

I portioned out the biscuit dough using scales, and got 21 biscuits out of the mix, not the 24 suggested in the recipe. As I was using the fan oven, so that I could put in two trays of biscuits together, I cooked for the minimum time suggested.

These biscuits were as delicious as I expected. Rich in chocolate flavour, with large chunks of fiery ginger which were a delight to chew on. I find dates quite neutral in flavour (which is why they're often used as a sugar replacement these days) but I think that they really enhance the impact of chocolate and they certainly contributed to the chewiness of these biscuits.

This shows how the chocolate melted and tried to escape!
My only slight disappointment with the biscuits was that any chocolate chunks on the outside of the dough ball melted during baking, leaving a lot of melted chocolate on the baking paper, and on top of some of the biscuits. This might be down to my choice of chocolate, but as these biscuits were really only chunks of chocolate, dates, and ginger held together with the minimum amount of dough, it would be difficult to make them without any chocolate chips on the surface. I've not looked into bake-stable chocolate in detail, as I've never really needed it, but my impression is that it's quite expensive - possibly only for perfectionists, which I'm not!

I'm sending these to Choclette's We Should Cocoa link-up for March, over at Tin and Thyme. There is no theme to the link-up, any recipe, using any form of chocolate, is welcome.


Alicia Foodycat said...

These look absolutely wonderful!

Snowy said...

Delicious looking biscuits and great ingredients. I love Dan's recipes, they always work.

Phil in the Kitchen said...

These do look delicious (actually, the melted chocolate on the surface only makes them look more desirable to me). I always think that biscuits are just too much effort and trouble, but I do really love the results.

Choclette Blogger said...

I've never thought of Dan as a biscuit maker, so have not tried any of his biscuit recipes. I will now though. These look gorgeous and I like the addition of carob (although I know you didn't use it). The perceived wisdom is that biscuits are easy to make, but like you I find them a faff. Having said that, I persist as I do love a good homemade biscuit. Thanks for joining in with We Should Cocoa this month - I'm glad you didn't forget ;)