These marvellous chocolate cookies are at once sweet and savoury, and taste just as good straight out of the oven as they do the day after. Yielding two large cookies, you can easily share the other with someone else – or leave it to yourself to enjoy the different textures from eating it now or later.
This recipe is featured in Nigella Lawson’s new BBC show which focuses on her favourite recipes for home-cooking. Nigella’s Eat, Cook, Repeat, premieres in Singapore on Monday, 16th August at 7.00pm, on StarHub channel 432 and BBC Player.
- 50 g plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)
- 10 g cocoa
- ⅛ tsp baking powder (gluten-free if necessary)
- ⅛ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
- 50 g soft unsalted butter (or dairy-free baking block if you want these to be vegan)
- 25 g caster sugar
- 15 g soft dark brown sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 25 g dark chocolate chips
- ¼ tsp sea salt flakes
StepsHide all images
Heat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan-forced), and get out a–preferably light-coloured–baking sheet. You don’t need to line it if it’s nonstick; otherwise, lie a sheet of baking parchment on it.
Stir the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and fine sea salttogether in a small bowl just to combine them.
In a slightly larger bowl–I use a pudding basin that I now can’t look at without thinking of these cookies–vigorously beat the butter, both the sugars and the vanilla with a small wooden spoon until you have a creamy mixture. If you aren’t a messy person, you could use a cereal bowl for this.
Add a generous spoonful of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar and beat it in gently with your wooden spoon. Then–still gently, unless you want cocoa and flour all over the place–beat in the rest of your dry ingredients, in about three batches. Once the dry ingredients are absorbed, you can beat vigorously until you have a sticky, rich-brown dough, that clumps together, at which point you can stir in the chocolate chips.
It’s not often I demand this level of precision, but I now weigh this mixture, and divide it in two; you don’t need to be fanatical about this, a few grams here or there won’t make the difference. Squidge each half in your hands to form two fat patties about 7 cm in diameter and place them on your baking sheet, at least 10 cm apart, as they spread while cooking.
Sprinkle ⅛ tsp of sea salt flakes over each cookie, and bake in the oven for about 12 mins, until the top of each biscuit is riven with cracks. At 10 mins–which is when I start checking they will be utterly smooth, but in the next 2 mins they seem to transform themselves. I crouch by the oven, staring through the cloudy glass doorf eeling like, as the old Joan Rivers joke has it (and forgive me if you’ve heard me tell this before), Elizabeth Taylor shouting ‘Hurry!’ at the microwave.
Once the surface is cracked, and the cookies have spread, they are ready. They will, however, feel very soft–even uncooked–to the touch, and you will doubt me. But I will forgive you, as long as you obey me. So whip out the baking sheet, leaving the cookies in place for 5 mins. Only then may you slip a metal spatula under the cookies and tenderly transfer them to a wire rack. For optimal eating pleasure, leave for another 10 mins before biting into one. I often succumb after 5, which is perfectly permissible, I feel, though I should warn you that the biscuit is unlikely to hold its shape by then. But in times of urgent need, such matters of form scarcely matter.
Text: Nigella Lawson