Wednesday, 22 January 2014

We Should Cocoa: Scottish Tablet Cookies

This month's We Should Cocoa is hosted by Linzi at Lancashire Food who wants us to use an ingredient new to us.  Last month's boozy round up of chocolate based treats can be found here. You can read all about We Should Cocoa, how to enter and the previous challenges here on Choclette's blog. 

I am the anti-resolutionist.  I don't go on a green juice detox on the first of January. 

I have a hangover on the 1st January. 

(Normally, alcohol related but one year I had a cheesecake hangover.  It exists. It is horrifying, terrifying and majestically brilliant all at the same time).

I still have leftover Christmas food which I intend to get through.  I support local businesses (re: the local chinese).  I don't go to the gym. 

And it's because January is a truly crap month. It's cold, it's always dark, you feel a bit shitty after binging on Christmas films and malteasers and the last thing you want to do is be hungry and miserable.

So, whilst I am still on my anti-resolutionist bender of sugar and carbs, I give you cookies. Really sugary cookies. Made with the new to me ingredient of Scottish tablet. No shame.

Makes around 18

110gr unsalted butter
100gr caster sugar
60gr light soft brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg
150gr plain flour, sifted with
1/2 tsp baking powder
50gr Scottish tablet, chopped
50gr dark chocolate, chopped

1, Preheat your oven to 190o/c and line three baking sheets with baking paper.
2, Melt the butter in a small saucepan gently.  When fully melted, remove from the heat, pour into a medium sized mixing bowl and stir in the sugars with the salt.  
3, Beat in the egg.
4,  Add in the flour and stir until smooth and fully combined.  
5, Stir through the chopped chocolate and tablet.  The tablet will disintegrate into mush if you stir it too much. Be wary of the crumbly texture. 
6, Scoop lumps onto your prepared baking sheets.  I used a table spoon measuring spoon.  You don't need to flatten them out as they will do this themselves when cooking. 
7, Bake for between 7 and 10 minutes until just going golden brown.  Leave to cool on the baking sheets for five minutes before cooling completely on a wire rack. 
8, Scoff and laugh in the face of January.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Chai Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

Everything is a bit sad, wobbly, and shaky in January. 

The look your Christmas tree gives you just before you decide to take it to be recycled at the tip.  The mince pie baby that I am currently hiding under my jumper. That shaky, squiggle your handwriting does when you remember that it's 2014 and not 2013 when writing the date. That 'back to work' face everyone pulled last week. The realisation that it's not actually at all ok anymore to eat cheese and biscuits for breakfast. 

The best way to get through it is to wrap yourself up warm. From the inside. Specifically, with a bowl of this chai spice rice pudding.

Serves two

200gr brown rice
Pinch of salt
400ml semi skimmed milk
100ml double cream
1 black tea bag
4tbsp honey
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp ground ginger
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods
1/2 cinnamon stick
1tbsp coconut oil (or butter)

Toasted walnuts for serving (optional)

1, Bring a medium sized saucepan with 1 litre of water to the boil with a pinch of salt.  Rinse the rice well in cold water and add to the boiling water.  Turn down to a low/medium heat and simmer for 30mins, stirring occasionally. 
2, Drain the rice and place in a bowl and cover tightly. 
3, In another saucepan, add the remaining ingredients except the coconut oil/butter and bring that up to a gentle boil.
4, Immediately lower the heat, remove the tea bag, and add in the cooked rice and stir well.  Stir in the coconut oil/butter here.
5, This will need a further 30-40mins of gentle simmering, being stirred occasionally until it has thickened. 
6, Serve hot or cold with toasted walnuts.