Episode 50: Black Cocoa Bakes

Edd Kimber’s Chocolate Sablé Biscuits

Adapted, barely, from here. These are EXTREMELY well balanced. I liked them with just good quality white chocolate. Makes about 25 in my experience

  • 140g plain/ all purpose flour
  • 140g wholemeal rye flour
  • 40g black cocoa (or Dutch-processed)
  • 3/4 baking soda/ bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp flaky salt
  • 220g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 125g caster/ granulated sugar
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract/ bean paste
  • 200g white chocolate or caramelised white chocolate, chopped
  1. Sieve the flours, cocoa, bicarb into a bowl. Add salt and whisk together.
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add the flour mixture and combine. Add the chopped chocolate. It will be difficult to bring together, but you’ll be rewarded in the shortness of the finished biscuit.
  4. Press and roll into two logs about 3 inches across as best you can.
  5. Refrigerate until very firm, 4 hours or more I found.
  6. Preheat oven to 160C convection/ 325F/ 140C fan. Cut chunky slices about 1/2 inch / 1.3 cm thick. Leave some space around for spread.
  7. Bake for 13 minutes. There aren’t any good visual cues, due to the colour and shortness of these biscuits, but just trust they will be done.

River Cottage Pear Cake

A perfect mid-afternoon cake

Adapted (very slightly) from here.

  • 4 pears (I like conference pears)
  • 185g butter: 150g for the cake and 35g butter for the pears
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • The zest of an orange (optional)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g plain / all purpose flour
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs, c. 120-140g in their shells
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Peel the pears, remove their stalks, cut them into quarters and remove the seeds. Roast pears in 35g butter, light brown sugar and orange zest, if using, at 180C / 350F / 160C fan for about 25-30 minutes until soft.
  2. Leave the oven on the same temperature. Grease with butter and line a 23cm / 9 inch springform cake pan.
  3. Sift then whisk together the ground almonds, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  4. In a different bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Finally, mix in the milk to achieve a “dropping” consistency.
  5. Transfer the chocolate cake mixture to the cake tin. Top with the pears and top with roasting juices.
  6. Place the cake tin on a large baking tray (as an insurance policy in case of any leaking). Bake for about an hour – check at 50 minutes.

Chocolate Tahini Shortbread

I love the drama of the black cocoa biscuit and the white sesame seeds

These I adapted from a lemon and tahini biscuit in Ruby Tandoh’s Crumb. If you want to convert them back (I recommend trying both to be honest!!!!) then omit the cocoa and sesame seeds, use 240g AP/ plain flour and add the zest of 2 lemons into the butter mixture.

  • 120g butter
  • 120g tahini
  • 120g caster or granulated sugar
  • 205g plain / all purpose flour
  • 35g black or Dutch processed/alikinised cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • around 50g sesame seeds, for rolling
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F (160C fan). Line a baking tray or two with baking parchment.
  2. Cream the butter, tahini and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  4. Add this to the wet mixture in two stages (this is partly for even mixing, but moreso to prevent your kitchen being covered in cocoa and flour!).
  5. Roll into balls of about 25g. Roll in the sesame seeds. Space out a little on the baking sheet(s) – they don’t spread much though. Bake for 12 minutes. Because of the size of my oven and baking sheets I do this in two stages.

Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies with Freeze Dried Raspberries

Simply phenomenal stuff…

Adapted (just a little) from here and here.

Makes around 20-24

  • 170g all purpose/ plain flour
  • 28g cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda/ bicarb
  • 155g butter, softened
  • 50g caster (superfine) or granulated sugar
  • 134g light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp flaky salt (less if your butter is salted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
  • 150g good milk chocolate (mine was 37% cocoa solids), chopped into smallish pieces
  • 15-20g freeze dried raspberries, chopped into small pieces
  1. Cream the butter, vanilla and sugar together.
  2. Sift the cocoa, baking soda and flour and mix gently.
  3. Add to the butter mixture and combine.
  4. Add the chopped chocolate and raspberries and combine.
  5. Shape into two or three logs, around 1.5 inches/ 3.8cm diameter.
  6. Refrigerate thoroughly – about 4 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 325F/ 170C (150C fan).
  8. Cut into 1/2 inch / 1.3cm thick rounds. If they fall apart a bit, press them back together and they’ll cohere together in the oven.
  9. Bake, spaced a little apart – they’ll spread a bit but not loads – for 12 minutes. They won’t look “done”, but trust the process.
  10. Cool and enjoy. They keep for about 3-4 days in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

Published by Kate

Home baker and now podcaster!

2 thoughts on “Episode 50: Black Cocoa Bakes

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