The second Bloggers' Banquet was nigh, and we needed to get cooking. We brought a few tried and true recipes to the table, but I also wanted to take a little something special for our chauffeur, Claire the Melbourne Gastronome. It had to be cute and sweet, but also hardy enough to weather a couple of days at home before being dragged around in a bag through variable temperatures. Enter Nigella's coffee walnut splodges.
They were indeed suitably robust, with a slightly cakey texture and those softly crunching walnuts. And they were a doddle to put together. But as I tried a still-warm one on Thursday night, I said something I never thought I'd say about a Nigella recipe: "I wish these were sweeter". So, early on Saturday morning, I melted some leftover dark cooking chocolate and spread it generously on the splodges' flat surfaces. That did the trick.
The chocolate wasn't sufficient to mocha up the entire batch and I'm still eating some of the leftovers as Nigella intended them. They're really growing on me, actually. The bitterness of the coffee and walnuts is a great pick-me-up on a workday afternoon.
Coffee walnut splodge biscuits
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g unsalted butter, softened
75g castor sugar
60g brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 large eggs, beaten
200g walnuts, roughly chopped
~200g dark cooking chocolate (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Gradually mix in the coffee powder and then the eggs. Stir in the flour mixture and the walnuts by hand until just combined.
Line a baking tray (or two, if you have them) with paper and drop generous teaspoons of the dough onto them.
Bake for about 12 minutes, until they've just developed a firm crust. Let them cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack.
Optional chocolate layer: Gently melt the chocolate by your preferred method and spread it on the flat side of the cooled biscuits. Allow 30 minutes for the chocolate to set (or chuck 'em in the fridge for 10!) before storing the biscuits.