Dear internet, meet my new favourite biscuit. New favourite biscuit, meet the internet. Don't be shy, introduce yourself. It's not that hard to say "hi, all name is Mexican chocolate crackle biscuit".
I've developed quite and affinity for these biscuits, just looking at them makes me feel pleasant. It's not an irrational attraction I'm feeling towards these biscuits either. My attraction is perfectly justified; these biscuits are darn good.
I bookmarked this recipe many months ago with the intention of making them as soon as I could. Needless to say, like many of my plans, I never got around to it. In the meantime I made many other things. The truth is, I completely forgot about my plans to make these biscuits. I wish I hadn't.
I've made biscuits that look just like these before but they were never as good as these are. I think I could eat a whole batch of these myself, but I won't because I fear my teeth will fall out. The wonderful combination of chocolate, cinnamon, and ancho chile keeps me coming back for more. Not to mention the sugar, oh the sugar. There's nothing good for you about these biscuits but they taste so lovely that it's completely ok.
I think next time I have an event of some form I'm going to hand these out as thank you for coming presents. That way more people will get to try them. Spread the love, or something.
Mexican chocolate crackle biscuits
(adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking)
makes about 20 biscuits
20g (1 1/2 tablespoons) butter
2 teaspoons coffee liqueur
85g (3 oz) bitter-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 large egg
50g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar, plus 50g (1/4 cup) extra
50g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
45g (1/4 cup) whole almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon anco chile powder
45g (1/3 cup) unsifted icing sugar
Bring 5cm (2in) water to the boil in a small saucepan. Place the butter, liqueur, and chocolate in a heat-proof glass bowl. Turn off the heat, then set the glass bowl over the steaming water. Stir with a spatula until the mixture is smooth. Remove from saucepan and let cool slightly whilst you whip the eggs.
Place the eggs and 50g (1/4 cup) of the granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer and whip, on high speed until the mixture is very light in colour, about 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs and whip until well blended, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl.
Place the flour, nuts cinnamon, baking powder, and chile powder in the bowl of a food processor and process until the nuts are finely chopped, about 60 to 90 seconds. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and beat on low speed until just combined. Stir mixture gently with a spatula to ensure all the flour is incorporated. At this point the dough should vaguely resemble a thick mousse. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F), line a biscuit tray with baking paper.
Roll tablespoon sized amounts of dough into balls. Place the remaining 50g (1/4 cup) of granulated sugar in a small bowl and the icing sugar in another. Roll each ball of dough in the granulated sugar and then in the icing sugar. Be generous with the icing sugar, ensuring that each ball enough is cover with enough icing sugar so that you cannot see the dough underneath. Space the balls 5cm (2in) apart on the baking trays.
Bake the biscuits for 11-14 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through. The biscuits should be puffed and cracked when they are fully baked, if you nudge them they should slide on the tray rather than stick. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.