A little bit of Alsace for you here, via Pierre Hermé and the Guardian. A really simple, really chocolately biscuit that takes minutes to prep and minutes to bake (though you do need to chill the dough for a few hours).
I’ve had the recipe bookmarked for months and, as usual, have probably spent more time repeatedly putting it on my to-do list than I have making it…a lesson in there perhaps. I finally got to it on Sunday, then wondered why I had waited so long. Especially since I always have all of these ingredients (the recipe specifies fleur de sel but I used Maldon sea salt flakes). I bet you have most of them too so, go on, put your phone down and get in the kitchen; you’ll thank me, I promise.
Makes about 40 (though chilling half of the uncooked dough for a few days does it no harm, bar making it a teensy bit crumblier)
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
plain flour, 175g
bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp
butter, 150g (at room temperature, if possible, though I managed it with fridge-cold)
light brown sugar, 120g
caster sugar, 50g
vanilla extract, ¼ tsp
sea salt flakes, crumbled, ¾ tsp
good dark chocolate (70% cocoa), 150g
1. Chop the chocolate up into small pieces then sift together the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda.
2. Cube the butter, put it in a large bowl, and beat until soft with a wooden spoon (if it is not already at room temperature you may need to use a mixer/food processor for this bit).
3. Add the chopped chocolate, sugars, vanilla extract and salt to the butter and mix well. Finally, add the flour mixture and mix again until just combined, without over-mixing (which will make the biscuits tough).
4. Divide the dough into three parts, and roll each one into a sausage shape. Wrap in cling film and chill for about two hours.
5. When you’re ready to bake the shortbread, preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan-assisted/gas 3½ and line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment.
6. Unwrap the dough and slice it into 1cm-thick discs. Put the biscuits on the trays, leaving plenty of space for them to spread out (they will double in size) and bake for 11-12 minutes. They may still seem soft after this but this is normal; they will harden as they cool and you don’t want to overbake them. Cool on a wire rack and then store, as required in airtight tins (they should keep for a week).