Sunday, April 06, 2008

April 3-5, 2008: Coffee walnut splodges

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.


  1. So Claire got special biscuits and the rest of us didn't, no fair :-(

  2. Wow...I always find Nigella recipes too sweet too!

    Nice looking biscuits!

    I'm sorry I missed you guys on the weekend.

    xox Sarah

  3. That's too bad, Thanh - there definitely weren't enough choc-backed ones to go round. I'm suspicious that you would have had any spare stomach room anyway. :-/

    Sarah, I think I may have overcompensated with the coffee powder this time as a reaction to the Nigella cappuccino cupcakes I made last year! We would have like to see you too, but there's sure to be another chance. :-)

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Claire here - allow me to attest that these "splodges" tasted as good as they look! They looked so cute in their little red box... best-friend-K and I munched on them the following day at the movies, and she also loved them.

    Thank you so much Cindy, it was very nice of you to go to the trouble of making me something - anytime you and Michael need a chauffeur ride again, call me! :)

  6. Ah, I'm glad they were so well enjoyed by you and b-f-K. :-)