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Chocolate is the little black dress of baking. It a good choice for just about every occasion.

Today, I wanted to make a little something for the neighbour who lives across the landing. She’s moving out – luckily, given she’s a lovely neighbour, she’s not going far, just downstairs. So this was a housewarming gift, of sorts, or perhaps a sweet pick-me-up. After all, even when you’re just moving down two floors, hauling all your worldly  possessions from one place to another just isn’t fun.

So today’s bit of baking and blogging (Day 1!) are these soft, sweet chocolate kisses, sandwiched with a coffee icing. I didn’t have long for the food photography  – these were snapped in a hurry before I headed over to help haul a few boxes – and the daylight was long gone, it being the middle of winter here in Australia. So, lots of work still to be done on the photography front. I look forward to the day when a quick snap is, well, a snap. I have been doing lots of reading (so many great tutorials out there in blog land on how to take better food photographs – more on that in another post) and am working on a better set-up for taking shots.I also really wish I’d got some with that front biscuit in focus so you can really see the texture!

But for now, here’s the recipe:

125g non-dairy margarine (I am sure you could use butter, but mine is usually a dairy-free kitchen! I used Nuttlex Lite)

125g castor sugar

1 egg

150g (1 cup) self-raising flour

75g (1/2 cup) cornflour

2 tab cocoa

FOR ICING:

80g (1/2 cup) icing sugar

1 tab cocoa

45g dairy-free margarine

2 teas instant coffee dissolved in 2 teas boiling water

Preheat oven to 180C. Line two trays with baking paper.

Cream butter and sugar well in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer. Mix in egg. Sift over flour, cornflour and cocoa then beat in. Roll mixture into small balls (about 1 and a half to two teaspoons of mixture) and place on trays. Flatten slightly with a fork (press the fork gently into more flour to prevent sticking), or your hand.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until firm to touch. Cool on trays for a few minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely before icing.

To make icing, sift icing sugar and cocoa into a small bowl and stir to combine thoroughly. Add butter and use a wooden spoon to mix. Add coffee mixture and mix thoroughly.

Arrange the biscuits in pairs (unless you have exceptionally good judgement, or you weigh each ball of dough, you’ll find some variation in size; I like to pair similar-sized biscuits before starting the icing, so I know the finished kisses will have a nice symmetry between top and bottom). Use a knife to spread icing on one biscuit, then press the other of the pair on top. Allow to set.

Makes approximately 20 kisses.

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