Nut free zone
No nuts here....
It's I should Cocoa time again! Last month was raspberries and chocolate hosted by Chele of Chocolate Teapot. You can see my contribution here and the round up here. This month Choclette is hosting and announced at the beginning of October that the ingredient of choice this time to pair with the chocolate of the challenge was to be hazelnuts or cobnuts.
Nut free zone
Regular readers will know that I am allergic to nuts. It was, however, inevitable that nuts will crop up in the challenge because they're often paired with chocolate, and cobnuts are very seasonal at the moment. There are a few nutty posts on the blog, when I've made cakes exclusively for others so how to combine the nuts into a bake that I could also taste in some form was my challenge. I decided not to go for something where the nuts were absolutely essential to the structure of the bake. And to make up for the fact that I couldn't go too strongly on the nuts I went over the top with the chocolate!
So, having had all month to think about this, I've only just managed to contribute in time (again!) with these Triple Chocolate and Hazelnut Crunchies. The recipe is closely based on this one by Delia Smith and I fancied making biscuits rather than cakes (partly because I wanted to eat biscuits at the moment) but also because it's easier to split the batch. I made up the base ingredients as given in the recipe, and then added the chocolate. I was more generous than the recipe here, using 20g each of milk, white and dark chocolate. I then used half of the mixture straightaway, pushing spoonfuls of it off to form rough biscuit rounds. I then baked these and while they were baking added 30g bashed hazelnuts (I had bought whole blanched hazelnuts) to the rest of the mixture. I then repeated the process for forming and baking the biscuits. This recipe also had the advantage of me not having to handle the nuts much - I'm such a wimp!
My biscuits took about 21 minutes to become just slightly golden. I'll have to wait until tomorrow before I can add tasting comments for the hazelnut version, but the biscuits without the nuts were chewy and chocolatey and oaty (funny that, what with containing oats and all!) and really nice. I'm guessing that the nuts will be a welcome addition, adding some crunch and a good nutty flavour to the biscuits, but I'll try and elicit comments from some of my colleagues (wish me luck!).
No nuts here....
Quick and easy and yummy, perfect to enjoy with a lovely mug of hot chocolate - well, I may as well continue the theme properly!
Edited to add: Colleagues thought these were really good - lots of positive comments. The nut ones are apparently slightly less sweet which my dedicated tester (who naturally had to have one of each batch to make a true comparison) thought was probably due to the nuts balancing the sweet chocolate (especially as I used the same base for them both!). She also liked the flapjack-like taste of the golden syrup in them. Good feedback!