The Brooding Architect has caught the dreaded ‘change of season cold’ that seems to be lurking in every office and on every tram in Melbourne. He has spent 3 days on bed rest, eating nothing but restorative chicken and ginger soup. However, today his health seems to have turned a corner and to celebrate the return of his sense of taste and smell, I action-ed some afternoon baking.
While at the local fruit shop this morning, I impulse bought a box of organic fair trade cocoa, which they had cleverly placed very close to the registers. Using this cocoa as my starting point, I successfully* made up a very simple recipe for these Chocolate and Raisin Biscuits. The Brooding Architect even gave them his tick of approval – although he may just have been happy to eat something apart from soup!(*many of my previous attempts to invent baking recipes have been terrible failures!)
These biscuits have a light – almost cake like – texture. The rich, dark cocoa gives the biscuits a a lovely bittersweet flavour, with lots of plump juicy raisins for bursts of juicy sweetness throughout. Perfect with a cup of afternoon tea.
Chocolate & Raisin Biscuits
(Makes around 30)
- 125 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons good quality cocoa
- 1/4 cup natural yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1/2 Raisins (or substitute with your preferred combination of dried fruit and nuts – I think a combination of dried cranberries and pistachios, or citrus peel and almonds would work very well)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. (If you only have one baking tray, you will need to bake the biscuits in 2 batches).
- Place the butter, brown sugar and vanilla essence into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric beater, beat the ingredients together until light and fluffy. This should take between 3 and 5 minutes.
- Crack the egg into the bowl, beat gently until well combined with the other ingredients.
- At this point, replace the electric beaters with a wooden spoon, as the mixture becomes quite sticky and is easier to combine by hand mixing.
- Add the bicarbonate soda and 1 cup of the plain flour to the bowl. Stir until well combined. Now add the natural yogurt, milk and remaining 1 cup of flour to the bowl. Stir until well combined. Add the raisins and mix until evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls. Place them evenly – approximately 5cm apart – on the baking trays. Using the back of a fork, gently flatten each ball of mixture. (This will assist in flattening out the biscuits during baking and gives the biscuit a home style decorative touch).
- Bake the biscuits for between 12 and 15 minutes. (The biscuits took 14 minutes in my electric oven). The biscuits are done when the tops spring firmly if lightly touched with a fingertip. Allow the biscuits to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.