I am back at work today after a glorious holiday. I am tired (my flight was a bit delayed), cold (where is the sunshine?!) and a little bit grumpy (okay, quite a lot grumpy).
The return from holiday has, however, been eased by a couple of jolly nice things that have happened in the last couple of days.
First of all, I seem to have made it onto the shortlist for Cosmopolitan's food blog of the year. I have checked the page several times and so I'm reasonably convinced that my blog is actually there and it's not just a figment of my imagination. I am still, of course, waiting for an email telling me that it's all been a big mistake and they didn't mean to include me at all.
If you feel so inclined, you can vote for me (but you have to sign up with an email address so I totally won't blame you if you don't). I have to say, however, that some of the other blogs that have been nominated are probably far more deserving of your vote. But still, it is a complete honour and I am totally amazed by it.
The other mild excitement was that my hazelnut butter rice crispy treats were featured on Huffington Post alongside some other delicious creations that had me reaching for my trusty box of cereal.
So, that's probably enough about how brilliant I am. For today at least.
There's a mildly amusing story attached to these cookies.
A couple of weeks ago, I had to go on a training course for work where, incidentally, I learnt how to pass a lie detector test (not that, I should make it clear, my job has anything to do with lie detector tests at all). Apart from that, the highlight of the day was the cookies that we were served during the morning break. They were insanely rich with an intense chocolate flavour, a crisp outside and an oozing middle. Pretty much cookie perfection.
I couldn't stop think about the cookies so I emailed the venue and asked if the chef would mind sharing the recipe. While I was waiting for him to reply, I decided to whip up a batch of Nigella's totally chocolate chocolate chip cookies with a few small trademark changes. The most notable of which was swapping out the butter for a good smooth olive oil. It works like a dream with the dark chocolate. I did also reduce the amount of chocolate chips that the recipe calls for because I am an idiot (and because I wasn't sure that a batch of 18 cookies really required nearly 500g/20 oz of chocolate...).
While I was waiting for the cookies to cool, I checked my email and found a very sweet message from the pastry chef. Guess what his recipe was?
If you guessed that it was the Nigella recipe, then you guessed right. Although I don't think he monkeyed around with the ingredients quite as much as I did...
Dark chocolate and olive oil cookies
Adapted from Nigella LawsonYield: 16 cookies
- 125g (5 oz) dark chocolate (I used 72%)
- 105ml (1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 75g (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) light brown soft sugar
- 45g (3 tablespoons) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 cold egg
- 150g (1 1/2 cups) whole wheat flour
- 30g (1/3 cup) dark cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 100g (4 oz) dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F and line two baking trays with non-stick paper.
- Melt the chocolate in short burst in the microwave or in a bowl over (but not touching) a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand held whisk, beat together the olive oil and sugars until creamy. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix until combined.
- Lightly whisk the egg with the vanilla and whisk that into the butter/sugar/chocolate mixture.
- Finally, fold in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips until just combined.
- Place tablespoons of the dough on a baking tray and bake for 15-18 minutes until the edges of the cookie are firm. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.