Tuesday, 25 September 2012


In the biscuit world, there are the elegant – the macacrons, the madeleines, the sablés… (the French have it all sewn up basically) and then... there are these.  Hailing from New Zealand via Bedrock, these delicious pebbles of chocolaty goodness are fabulously low-rent, containing as they do, a certain secret ingredient: cornflakes!  I can imagine Fred Flintstone throwing down a few on his coffee break at the quarry, but they’re equally appropriate to serve to friends who come over with their fancy cameras (and IT skills) to help you with your blog.  Ironically, the photographs that resulted make these biscuits look as chic as their more high-class relatives.  But so much more approachable.

From the most delightfully named Ladies, A Plate by Alexa Johnston

Apparently this particular version of the biscuit (which has been common in community cookbooks since the 1940s) comes from Mrs Marian Benton of Dunedin.

For the biscuits
6 oz butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups cornflakes

For the icing
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
24-30 walnut halves

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F / 180 deg C and line two baking trays with baking paper, or grease them lightly with butter.  Break up the cornflakes with your hand and soften the butter.

Cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy.  Add the sifted dry ingredients, then knead in the cornflakes.  Put in teaspoonfuls on the trays, leaving a little space around each biscuit.  Flatten them slightly with a fork and bake for 12-14 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

Gently heat the water, caster sugar and butter until the butter melts and simmer for one minute to form a syrup.  Beating all the time, pour about 3/4 of the syrup onto the sifted icing sugar and cocoa.  Add the remaining syrup if necessary to make a smooth, fudgy icing.  Add a little hot water if it’s still too thick.  Put a teaspoonful of warm icing on each biscuit, plant a walnut half on the top of each, sinking it into the icing, and leave to set firmly.  Store in an airtight tin.  They’ll stay fresh for 3-4 days.  Makes 24-30 smallish biscuits.

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