Sunday, June 10, 2012

Two posts for one : Banana and Bacon cookies, Chocolate chip cookies

So I wanted to try Banana and Bacon Cookies (or biscuits as we call them locally). The family was less than enamoured of having their weekly biscuit potentially being something weird that they didn't like. So I ended up making Chocolate Chips Cookies too.

The process for the two is similar.

  1. sift the dry stuff
  2. cream the butter and sugar
  3. add eggs
  4. Add the dry stuff to the wet stuff
  5. add the flavoured stuff
  6. put on trays and bake.
But then.. this is Heston so some steps/ingredients are..special. 

Banana and Bacon Cookies

First step: cook your yummy streaky bacon in the oven. You only need 40g, which is actually less than one rasher. The recipe thinks 40g = 5 rasher. In hindsight, I wonder if this is a typo, and it should be 400g. My one rasher was 70g or so.  Anyway, on it goes.
 You then dice finely.
 Sift your dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, bicarb, salt, etc.
 Cream the butter and unrefined caster sugar.
 Both recipes use the unrefined caster sugar, and it's suppsed to be light and fluffly. It just never really got there, so I went for "as light as possible" instead.
 Eggs go in..
 Banana chips, not fresh banana.
 And they get chopped up.
 Then your bacon and banana goes into the dough. It says dough. But its really really wet. Not very dough like at all.

Bake away.

So that's them done. Kind of... ordinary looking.

Things I learned:

Not everything needs to be hugely complicated. And sometimes, my suspicions are right.


Well.. disappointing. If I am making bacon and banana cookies, I expect taste and/or noticeable benefit from the main ingredients.

You can hardly taste the bacon except as a slight saltiness when you bite into a piece. The banana chips worked well, but are not strong flavours, thought they did retain some bite which was nice.

I am considering now (in hindsight) making a second batch with 400g of bacon (which might actually hit 5 slices), on the premise the 40g listed amount is a typo and judge again. They weren't hard to make and I just wanted them to be a hell of a lot more interesting than they are. To be honest, they are bland. Not what I expect from Heston.

Guest opinions:

None. I am the only one of my family willing to try them. Anyone want to meet for coffee to try one?

Chocolate chip cookies

Now. This is Heston, so of course, you can't just grab a bag of choc chips, or even a block of dark chocolate and call it a day. You need to make your own choc chips. (Slight rolling of eyes). But I am game, and so is my keen 'apprentice chef'.

These chocolate chips are golden syrup flavoured. 

 You make the chocolate chips by melting you chocolate, and heating the golden syrup and cream.

 Mix them together.

 And pour them into a tray.

Then they get cooled for an hour and then chilled in the freezer for another 4 hours. It's becoming very clear that I really need to read. every. single. word. in his recipes when at the planning stage, because I missed the 4 hour freezing time until it was time to do it. As a result, we were pressed for time and ours were frozen for around 2 and half hours.

Which really wasn't enough. They had the consistency of good ganache. Sticky, not frozen solid.

We thought we might be able to help the process along by cutting them up into their lumps and sticking them back in the freezer for another 30 mins or so while we finished the other biscuits.

 Time to make the dough. As before..

Butter and sugar, then the eggs.

Add the flour (a lot more this time than last)
And the vanilla bean paste (quite a lot of this comparatively).  You can see this one was a LOT more dough like than the bacon and banana one.

Then add in the choc chips and mix.  I can't believe I forgot to take a photo of this bit. But.. the choc chips distingerated into long smears in the dough. I tried to keep them together but it was messy and I ended up with marbled mix pretty much.
Dough on to trays. Extra mix into the fridge between batches. I was really worried about the chocolate melting further.

The first batch were really disappointing. Messy, too big and the chocolate lumps just melted into nothing.

 The second and subsequent batches were better. I gave up trying to keep the chocolate lumps together and made the dough balls about half the size. Biscuits turned out nicely marbled. Pity that wasn't what I was going for! I do think chilling the dough between batches also helped a lot - to the point I think I'd make the dough, chill it for about 30 mins and then ball it up and bake.

 Things I learned:

  • Read the damn recipe properly, and if it says chill for 5 hours, just suck it up and do so.
  • Even mistakes can be tasty


  • If you made the choc chips a day ahead, (or early the morning when you want to make them later in the day) they'd probably work a lot better.
  • The flavour was really nice, and the mixed through chocolate was a hit
  • Smaller (heaped teaspoon sized) was definitely preferable to the ice-cream scoped sized recommended. 

Guest opinions:

My daughter's friend enthusiastically told me they were the best chocolate biscuits she'd ever had. Even allowing for small person hyperbole, they were very happily enjoyed by the family. Husband is slowly eating his way through them. Daughter negotiating for them to go into her lunches.

I'll call that a win and consider making them again - this time with properly chilled choc chips!

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, between the possible order-of-magnitude bacon error and the ramekin-size vs volume-of-ganache weirdness, I wonder whether Heston has an errata up somewhere on the web for the book you're working from?

    I don't think anything in the world could make me eat a bacon and banana biscuit - but that's more for the banana chips than for the bacon, believe it or not! We discovered that bacon rashers baked in maple syrup really are delicious when D tried out a fancy Caesar salad recipe a couple of years ago, so I stand ready to believe other sweet+bacon weirdness can be good. (Pigs, they are so magical!)

    I'll be interested to see how the more bacony version of these turn out for you.

    On the choc chip ones: hats off to your commitment! And marbled chocolate is almost as good as huge chunks of chocolate in a biscuit, so they definitely deserve 'win!' status. :-)