I have never liked Earl Grey tea so I'm not sure what drove me to make these. I suppose they sounded nice in theory and I was curious as to how they would taste. I knew that I should have trusted my gut instinct and listened to the voice that said "you know, you don't like Earl Grey one little bit" but I didn't. Instead, I went out and bought Earl Grey tea explicitly for the purpose of making these biscuits. Maybe I thought these biscuits would convert me. Well, they didn't. I still can't stand Earl Grey tea.
However, these aren't all bad. The texture is amazing though not at all the like shortbread I normally make. These little biscuits crumble a bit when broken and also dissolve in the mouth. I know I would love these if it weren't for the Earl Grey tea in them, so if you like Earl Grey you'll probably adore these! I fully intend to make them again without the the tea.
Chocolate earl grey shortbread
(adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking)
makes 18-25 biscuits
50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon good-quality Earl Grey tea leaves
115g (4 oz) butter, cold and cut into pieces
105g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
20g (3 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sanding sugar, optional
200g (7 oz) dark chocolate
place the sugar and tea leaves in the bowl of a food processor and grind for 1 minutes, or until the leaves are finely chopped. Add the butter, flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process for about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and process for a further 15-30 seconds or until the dough looks uniformly dark and forms large, shaggy clumps. Alternatively, combine with a pastry blender until the dough reaches the same consistency.
Turn the dough out on to the bench and knead gently several times to bring the mixture together.
Squeeze the dough into a log about 30cm (12") long and about 2.5cm (2") in diameter. Gently roll it back and forth until smooth. If the dough becomes sticky, place it in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to firm up.
Sprinkle sanding sugar on to the bench, alongside the log and roll the dough in the sugar to coat evenly. Cut a piece of cling wrap about 10cm longer than the log and center the log at one of the long ends. Roll the log tightly and twist the ends of the wrap to secure. Insert the log into a cardboard paper towel roll to help the dough keep its shape. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F), fine a baking tray with paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge and side it out of the cardboard. Using a thin knife, slice it into 1cm (3/8") rounds. Place the biscuits 2.5cm apart on the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes,rotating the tray halfway through. Remove tray from oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.
Once cooled, melt chocolate and using a fork, flick the chocolate over the biscuits to decorate.