There are certain flavour combinations that just work. Dark chocolate paired with orange is certainly one of them! So I present to you, in time for the festive season, my Choc-orange Biscuits.
Baking gifts is good for your health
Christmas is a great time to get your bake on and give the gift of deliciousness by baking something lovely for friends and family! I recently read a news article where psychologists explained the benefits of baking for others. They said that baking for others is an ‘altruistic act and a proactive form of creative expression’ (both of which are psychologically advantageous). Baking’s also a great way to practice mindfulness (due to the attention it requires).
For me, baking is absolutely therapeutic and definitely forces me into mindfulness (more so than meal cooking which doesn’t require the same degree of concentration). It triggers memories of the love my nan had for me as a child, the deliciousness we shared when she baked for me. I hope I can trigger those same memories in my own children one day.
As much as cooking is something I’m obviously passionate about, baking is something I have largely struggled to do well. I think I’m perhaps a little too creative and my free-flowing approach to cooking (combined with a deficit in the patience department) means quite a few fails. Though with each fail I learn a lot about the science behind the bake and I have come a long way as a baker in the past five years or so.
I think it’s why my recipes are well received by many, because they are created by a non-natural baker so they are simple and perfect for those of us challenged in this department. Also, because I have to do my own washing up, I make the methods and the amount of bowls required, minimal.
Remember to take a look at the variations (below the main recipe). Here, you’ll find suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your dietary goals.
If you’re looking to save money across pantry items such as nuts, seeds, flours and meals, I personally shop at The Wholefood Collective. They have a great range of whole foods at heavily discounted prices (all home delivered), click HERE to take a look.
- 50 g butter or coconut oil (¼ cup) melted
- 85 g rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup (¼ cup)
- 1 orange -zest finely grated plus 3 tbsp juice
- 1 tsp vanilla -powder, extract or essence
- Pinch sea salt
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 215 g wholemeal spelt flour (1¾ cups)
- 200 g dark chocolate -broken into squares
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Place the fat, sweetener, zest, orange juice, vanilla and sea salt into a large bowl and beat until well combined. Thermomix melt the butter or coconut oil 1 min, 90, speed 3 then add the sweetener, zest, juice, vanilla and salt and mix 1 min, speed 4.
- Add the bicarbonate of soda and mix well. Thermomix 5 seconds, speed 4.
- Add the spelt flour and mix until combined. Thermomix, lock lid, 30 seconds knead (flour symbol). Scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate the flour.
- The dough should be firm and hold together without sticking to your hands (like play dough). If it is too wet (sticky) add a little more flour. If too dry, add a tablespoon of juice or water.
- Place the dough onto a piece of baking paper and roll it into a log (approx. 5cm in diameter).
- Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours then slice into 5mm biscuits (in winter you will only need 30 mins in the fridge).
- Preheat the oven to 180℃/350℉ before slicing the dough.
- Place slightly apart on a lined baking tray (they spread ever so slightly) and bake for 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool fully on the tray (they firm as they cool).
- Bring a small pot of water to the boil and then turn off the heat. Place a small ceramic, glass or metal bowl over the hot water. Add the chocolate and coconut oil and stir until it is melted.
- I use a small bowl so that the melted chocolate is deep (which makes it easier to get a good half of the biscuit coated).
- Work with your tray of biscuits right next to the melted chocolate. Dunk half the biscuit into the melted chocolate and place back on the tray. Pop in the fridge to set the chocolate.
Time saving tip
- If you can't be bothered with the chocolate coating, press a chocolate button into each biscuit before baking.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
Gluten-freeSwap the spelt flour with 130g (1¼ cup) of almond meal plus 95g (¾ cup) buckwheat flour plus 2 tablespoons arrowroot. This dough is firm but sticky so wet your hands to shape it into the log. Another GF option is a good quality gluten-free premix, click here for my favourite mix.
Dairy-free and veganUse a dairy-free chocolate.
Fructose-friendlyChoose rice malt syrup as your sweetener and 98% dark chocolate.
Nut-freeChoose the coconut oil (or even melted butter) for your fat.
Coconut-freeReplace the coconut oil with macadamia oil or melted butter and omit from the chocolate coating.
I hope you love this recipe as much as my family does. Remember to post any feedback or questions below, enjoy!