Dark Chocolate Chip, Rosemary and Fleur de Sel Biscuits

Dark Chocolate Chip, Rosemary and Fleur de Sel Biscuits
It seems that I have given everything in my life over to preserving at the moment. It’s an addiction, I can’t get enough of filling up those jars and watching them stack up and up. My study, once the calm area of reading, writing and reflection has been invaded. Bookshelves have been emptied of books, books taken up to the attic as the jellies, relishes, pickles and jams have taken over.

I think that’s why I had a little moment this weekend in between the piccalilli and the apple and stem ginger chutney when I needed a recipe with instant results, something I could actually eat right that second. You know, dinner. And what better dinner than butter, eggs, sugar and flour. For a quick baking fix, you don’t need to go much further than a biscuit. The only impatience you need to overcome is that initial 20 minutes when the butter is being brought up to room temperature. Don’t let it kill your instant fix fun though, do what I do which is which is sit on my kitchen stool, a model of calmness as I leaf through a cookbook. Don’t shoot the butter murderous looks as the edges refuse to soften on this chilly August afternoon but instead… Oh alright then, after 10 minutes I might have
thrown the butter cubes unceremoniously into the kitcheanaid to let my faithful friend do the rest of the work. Whizzed up on high, it beats the butter around so it has no choice but to yield and when it does sugar is launched into the bowl as well and mixed for 3-4 minutes until light with air.

From there, it is no time at all to add the rest of the ingredients one at a time, mix, then add, mix then add. The egg, the vanilla, the flour, baking powder it all goes in before the chocolate chips, rosemary and fleur de sel are stiffly stirred in. At this point I forced myself to have the time and patience to weigh the dough out properly so my biscuits would all be the same size. It probably had a lot to do with the episode of GBBO I had just watched on catch up so was shamed into doing so, no one wants to get on the wrong side of Paul and Mary. However, this step was worth it as 12 minutes later, after the bake, seeing the biscuits lined up so uniformly, tweaked a little bit of perfectionist pride in me.
Dark Chocolate Chip Rosemary and Fleur de Sel Biscuits  |  Stroud Green Larder

I made these biscuits a few weeks ago and for some reason didn’t write about them. A bit of a travesty as they really are quite delicious, I was happy therefore to have found an opportunity to whip them up again for inclusion in the blog. These are more biscuit than cookie as the idea is that they should be crisp, with pockets of oozing chocolate providing the only give in the biscuit. They are also a little bit grown up and refined and are absolutely ideal sitting on the saucer of a cup of tea when you need a bit of time off from pickling, jamming and jarring.

Dark Chocolate Chip, Rosemary and Fleur de Sel Biscuits
Makes 20 biscuits

125g butter, at room temperature
185g caster sugar
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
185g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate chips
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ tsp fleur de sel

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix in until thoroughly combined.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, rosemary leaves and fleur de sel then add to the rest of the biscuit dough along with the chocolate chips.
  5. Bring the dough together to form a ball.
  6. Bake the biscuits in two batches. Weigh out half the dough, setting one of the halves aside for a bit, then split into 10 balls, which should be about 30g each. Place each ball on a large baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes when the edges should be turning golden.
  7. Once the biscuits are ready, remove from the tray with a spatula and transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. Take the second half of the dough and split into another 10 balls, place them on the baking tray and bake also for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the tray and transfer to a cooling rack.

Bacon Salt

Try Bacon Salt on anything and everything. From sprinkling on chips to whisking into salad dressings and even adding to your margarita salt rim. It just makes everything taste better.

Bacon Salt is the ultimate condiment which can be sprinkled on anything and everything

Bacon is brilliant and salt is marvellous so this recipe was always going to be a winning combination. I first had bacon salt a couple of months ago dredged onto my fries at Foxlow. It just made complete sense, adding a delightfully savoury saltiness. I have been meaning to have a go at it ever since and quite frankly since it was so easy I don’t know what took me so long.

Bacon Salt is the ultimate condiment which can be sprinkled on anything and everything

I just can’t see how I can go back to ordinary salt. At the moment every meal I have is being improved by adding a smidge of bacon salt. This special umami dust is the magic ingredient sprinkled over my buttered popcorn as I’m settling down to watch True Detective on a Saturday night. My sweet potato wedges are heartily pepped up as bacon salt makes them the key feature of the meal instead of a lowly accompaniment and my lunchtime chicken and avocado salads are taken to another dimension, adding a curiously divine depth to the proceedings. A few nights ago, making a marinara sauce for my pasta I reached for the bacon salt instead when I was seasoning which completely transformed a plain jane dinner into blissful reflection.

Maldon Sea Salt

Raw bacon on a roasting dish

Roasted bacon sizzling in a pan

Bacon resting on kitchen paper

Crumbled bacon in a food processor

Crumbled bacon and sea salt in a food processor

Bacon salt in a food processor

You can keep your bacon salt in the fridge for as long as you see fit. The proper advice is to eat within a week but since salt is a preservative then I find the bacon salt lasts a lot longer. I tend to use a whole batch within 2-3 weeks so it never gets to the point where I think to throw it away.

Bacon Salt is the ultimate condiment which can be sprinkled on anything and everything

You can grill your bacon for this recipe which takes half as long as the roasting time given below and if I’m pressed for time then this is a fine option. However, it is nice to roast the bacon as the roasting dish hangs onto the bacon fat which renders off the meat. This bacon fat is a real added bonus to the recipe. I scrape the fat into a jar to keep in the fridge and if you do this every time you bake or fry bacon then you will build up a little store. Now that we all know that fat isn’t the big scary health risk that we all once thought we can embrace the flavour that bacon fat gives to our cooking without repercussions. Have you tried bacon fat instead of butter when frying steaks or pancakes or as a base to your roux? It’s how I do it in my weird little bacon obsessed world. And then I cement matters by sprinkling bacon salt over the top.

Bacon Salt is the ultimate condiment which can be sprinkled on anything and everything

Bacon Salt

From sprinkling on your chips to adding to your salad dressings and even adding to your margarita salt rim, bacon salt just makes everything taste better.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Keyword: bacon salt, bacon salt recipe, how to make bacon salt
Servings: 50 servings
Calories: 11kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 135 g maldon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground white pepper

Instructions

  • Place the bacon rashers on a baking tray and then into an oven, pre-heated to 180°C.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until just starting to turn crisp.
  • Remove from the oven and place the bacon rashers on some kitchen paper to dry.
  • Once cooled, place the bacon in a food processor. Whizz up until the rashers have crumbled into tiny shards.
  • Pour in the salt and the pepper and continue processing together until the bacon pieces are tasty meaty dots running through the salt.

Notes

Adapted from thewannabechef.net

Nutrition

Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1064mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 0.1% | Iron: 0.1%

SHOP THE RECIPE

The salt that I love to use for this recipe is Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, 250g. The flakes are beautifully delicate and give a wonderful subtle taste.

The other product I would recommend which I used in this recipe is my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin which I have easily had over ten years. It’s an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often (almost everyday) in my kitchen.

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