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Hot chocolate and biscuit evenings

Sun, 14 February, 2021

I liked it when it was cold, frosty and dry. Now we have gone back to the usual English winter and Beast from the East has relented slightly, but I’m going to continue the hot chocolate and biscuit evenings, while wrapped in a blanket and watching Ozark, which I have discovered recently and absolutely love.

But what biscuits go best with winter and hot chocolate? Well, that depends if you like to dunk or not. For the dunking tribe, I suggest plain and sublime crunchy biscuits or sables with cocoa nibs. Ginger snaps. Chocolate chip cookies, English tearooms style. All firm, dependable classics.

If you don’t dunk and/or look towards the Continent for your biscuit, bake a batch of Italian ricotta cookies or French orange dacquoise biscuits. But if nothing but a proper cookie will do, there’s the mokonuts rye and chocolate or the triple choc chip. Plenty of choice and none of them an awful lot of work.

On Tuesday we’ll be making pancakes. Do try my spinach and blue cheese filling, it’s like My Old Dutch (remember that?) only better. The recipe for actual pancakes in there is also pretty good. Alternatively try galettes made with buckwheat flour or at the very least have a batch of buttermilk pancakes for breakfast.

Later in the week you could cook spicy cheesy lentil bake, it’s plenty comforting. Or a couple of gammon hocks, to be served with plum sauce and crispy caramelised cabbage. Make the beef and shiitake fried rice one night – I seem to eat fried rice on repeat. And if you have a spare pizza dough ball in the freezer, make cheesy sweetcorn tart, with frozen corn.

The cake of the week is midnight cake with fruit salad topping unless the biscuits count as cake and will suffice (they will not). Keep warm, dry, safe and well fed until next week!