Fish & Shellfish
Puddings & Desserts
I know I often say that my recipes are really easy, and they are - but this one is almost embarrassingly so. And not only are these cookies super-simple to make in just a few minutes, they’re gluten and fat free too (though high in sugar, it has to be said!). I made them for the working party who got together at our allotment this morning to do a pre-spring tidy up and build an enclosure for the beehives that are being put on the site soon, and they went down very well.
When you first bite into the cookies they’re quite crisp, but towards the centre they become pleasingly chewy - the perfect combination in a cookie, if you ask me! A bit like chocolate brownies in biscuit form. It took me a couple of attempts to get the cooking time right and achieve the crisp but chewy texture, hence the very precise time in the recipe below of 16 minutes. Stick to that exactly, and they should come out just right. They’re lovely as soon as they’ve cooled from the oven - but for maximum chewiness, make them two or three days ahead and keep in an airtight tin. Enjoy!
Stir the icing sugar and cocoa powder together, then beat the egg whites with a fork until nice and frothy and stir in the vanilla. Pour into the icing sugar and mix well with a dessertspoon. The mixture will seem very dry to start with but will soon become thick, smooth and glossy. Break the chocolate into squares, put in a plastic food bag and bash with the end of a rolling pin so you have small pieces, then mix in.
Line two baking trays with baking parchment and spoon heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto them. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C (fan oven) for 16 minutes until the top is cracked and papery. They will still seem very soft to the touch so leave to cool on the trays for a few minutes and they will begin to harden, then slide off using a fish slice and cool completely on a wire rack.
Will keep in an airtight tin for 5 days. (Note to my French conversation group: I've made enough for us to have on Tuesday too!)
This needs a good-quality plain chocolate (ie, 70% cocoa solids ) - but even better, use a flavoured one that I've just discovered: the most delicious Montezuma's Great British Black Forest Gateau Dark Chocolate with Cherries, which I bought in Sainsbury's and which worked perfectly in this morning's batch of cookies.