30 November 2010

Choc Chip and Hazelnut Biscuits

These went down a real treat in the office. Based on a plain biscuit recipe from the Dairy Cookbook, I added chopped roasted hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

Makes about 30 biscuits

225g self raising flour
pinch of salt
150g butter
100g caster sugar (I used unrefined)
75g chocolate chips (plain or milk - your choice)
65g chopped roasted hazelnuts
½ tsp vanilla essence
beaten egg to mix

1. Sieve flour and salt into a bowl.
2. Rub in butter (I use the food processor for this - it's easier on the hands and a lot quicker).
3. Stir in the sugar, nuts and chocolate chips.
4. Add the vanilla, then enough beaten egg to make a stiff dough.
5. Turn the mixture out onto a floured work top and knead until smooth.
6. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Roll out the dough thinly and using a 5cm biscuit cutter, cut into rounds.
8. Place on  silicone paper on a baking tray, leaving enough room for them to spread. Prick with a fork and bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 180°c, Gas mark 4 or until pale gold.

My baking tray takes 12 biscuits. Be prepared to cook three batches.

The Photograph
I was thinking how to make a plate of biscuits look interesting and came up with this idea using limited depth of field and the mug in the background. The original shot was wider and I tried to include steam from the mug but I couldn't make it work. (that's a another project entirely). I cropped very close. The reflections are from a sheet of clear acrylic placed on top of the the seamless black cotton backdrop. The lighting is very simple, the 60cm soft box above the table with a silver reflector above the lens lifting the shadows.below the plate. 

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