Last week, the Great British Bake Off was all about biscuits. Savory, sweet and notoriously difficult. Honestly, I didn’t have to think twice about which challenge I was going to choose for my GBBO post as florentines are so, SO difficult to make! Maybe that should’ve been a reason to make them anyway, but what can I say: I’m lazy sometimes. Instead, I went for the signature challenge. I started off with the idea of making a biscuit based on Frisian “Riperkrite” cheese, which is flavored with garlic, chives and celery leaves. But as celery leaves are difficult to incorporate into biscuits I went with this Anglo-French combination instead!
Again, I was so impressed with the quality of everyone’s bakes last week. There was hardly anything I wouldn’t eat from the biscuit madness. Martha was fabulous, with her goat’s cheese sandwich cookies and biscuit scene with coordinating flavors (!!). How awesome is that?! I would have loved to have taken a bite out of Luis’ St. George and the Dragon scene, of course mostly because he used cardamom (cardamom is the most awesome spice out there). Did anyone notice that for the second week in a row, the contestant using fondant had to say goodbye? I see a pattern here 😉 Honestly, I can’t disagree with Mary and Paul as fondant is basically sugar with a bit of glucose and water, and adds little to the flavor of a cake or cookie. Rather it is a direct attack on your teeth and overpowers any other flavors you may have got in there. I understand people like fondant cakes for their looks, and I’ve seen cake artists make incredible stuff, but if I were ever to get married, I would steer clear of the sugary madness.
Now, no chance of your teeth breaking with these cookies, although you might increase your chances of having a heart attack ever so slightly. Roasting the garlic makes it less sharp and gives it a creamy character. Combine it with some strong cheddar and a kick of chives and you’ve got the perfect evening snack, or appetizer! The texture of the cookie is brittle and crumbly but there is definitely a snap to it! Hopefully, Mary and Paul would appreciate these savory treats!
Recipe Cheddar Biscuits with Garlic and Chives
Tools: clingfilm, tinfoil
75 gr unsalted butter, softened
75 gr strong cheddar cheese, finely grated
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1 head of garlic, roasted
75 gr plain flour
olive oil (for roasting the garlic)
1. To roast the garlic:
Pre-heat the oven to 200C/390F. Remove the outer layers of the garlic head but leave the cloves connected to eachother. Chop 0.5cm/1/4inch off the top of the head. Place head onto a piece of tinfoil, drizzle with olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons) and wrap in the foil. Place wrapped garlic head into the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until each clove is soft on the inside- check by sticking a knife into the largest clove.
2. Turn oven down to 175C/350F.
3. Remove the softened garlic cloves from the shells by squeezing the bottom of each clove. In a large bowl, beat the garlic, butter, cheese, baking powder and chives until well combined. Add plain flour and beat until it is well blended.
4. Turn dough out onto a piece of clingfilm and shape into a 14cm/5 1/2″ log. Wrap in the clingfilm. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
5. Cut the log into 0.6cm/1/4″ thick slices and place onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake in the oven for about 14 minutes. Stay with the biscuits as they can catch quite quickly. If you bake in several stages, keep the biscuits in the fridge until you can bake them.
6. Once baked, turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool before serving. Serve as quickly as possible, or store in an airtight container immediately after the cookies have cooled.