Welcome to Baking Blog. Each month will feature an in-season fruit or vegetable dish to make with a little bit of grow-your-own information on the side.
May is perfect for making Mint ‘n’ Chocolate Biscuits.
Hands up who only uses the mint in their garden for savoury dishes? Yet, it is so much more than a herb to enliven lamb or new potatoes, and making these tasty treats is much easier than you think.There are many varieties of this versatile herb, from plain garden spearmint to high priced Moroccan mint, and if kept in a pot it doesn’t have to be a garden thug.
Mint has many uses from aiding digestion to clearing a blocked head, cooling the body down, helping your liver and even whitening teeth. No wonder it is used in toothpastes! Mint is high in antioxidants and carotenes helping the body absorb vitamins. It also contains Vitamin C, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, potassium and copper. It’s also a source of dietary fibre.
Prep Time 15 minutes. Cooking Time 15-25 Minutes. Decorating Time 5-10 minutes. Oven 180°c Fan 160°c Gas Mark 4 Skills Level Easy Peasy*
- Chopping Board.
- Measuring Spoons.
- Blunt knife.
- Biscuit cutters.
- Mixing Bowl
- Rolling pin.
- Ziplock or sandwich/freezer bag.
- Small saucepan
- Small Pyrex bowl.
- Oven tray.
- Cooling Rack.
- Grease proof paper.
- Pasty Mat (optional).
- 3 Tablespoons of freshly picked Mint Leaves .
- 50g Caster Sugar.
- 100g Butter .
- 150g Plain Flour.
- 150-200g of Dark Chocolate.
- Some Cold Water.
- Wash the mint leaves, strip from the stalk and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper.
- Snip or chop the leaves into tiny pieces and place in a ziplock bag.
- Preheat the oven and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
- Measure the dry ingredients and place in separate containers.
- Measure the butter and cut into small squares, then put it in a mixing bowl.
- Break the chocolate into a small Pyrex bowl and set to one side.
- Next rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips – try not to use the palms of your hands as you do not want the heat of your hands to melt the butter. The mixture is ready when it resembles fine breadcrumbs and there are no obvious butter lumps when you shake the bowl.
- Add about a tablespoon of sugar from your measured ingredients to the bag of mint. Then take your bag outside to a hard surface such as a windowsill or patio tile and bash the mint and sugar bag with the end of your rolling pin for about two minutes, or longer until you can no longer see the sugar and that dark juices escape from the mint.
- Tip everything from the ziplock bag into the breadcrumb mixture along with the rest of the sugar then turn with a blunt knife.
- Once the dough starts to stick put a very small amount of water in and knead the dough with your hands. Too much water will make the dough crack when baking, so just start with quarter to half a teaspoon. You just need enough moisture to make the dough stick. Note this is a hard dough and requires a good amount of kneading.
- The dough is ready when you can shape it. Roll the dough onto a pastry mat or lightly floured worktop to about 5cm in thickness, then use a biscuit cutter to make to cut the biscuits . Any shape cutter is fine but a 5cm sized one works best.
- Re-roll the dough to get as many biscuits as you can. Place in the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes, check they are rising, but do not open the oven door. The biscuits are ready when they have risen and are a light golden colour. Don’t try to brown them as it impairs the taste.
- Leave the biscuits to cool then move to a wire rack and allow to go fully cold.
- Once the biscuits are cold, heat some water in a small saucepan, then turn the heat down and place the Pyrex bowl of chocolate in the saucepan. Keep stirring the chocolate until it’s half melted.
- Turn the heat off and carefully remove the Pyrex bowl. Keep stirring the chocolate, there should be enough heat in it to melt the rest of the chocolate. If not just place the bowl back over the saucepan but don’t turn on the heat.
- When your chocolate is ready place a small amount on each biscuit and use the back of a
- teaspoon to swirl it around.
- Allow to cool and harden. They will keep fresh in an airtight container for a week.
Pop in a bowl of Vanilla or Strawberry ice-cream.
Enjoy with a hot coffee/tea.
Or just eat them outside in the fresh air.
Grow Your Own.
Mint can be sown from seed in late spring or propagated from cuttings at any time. It can be
invasive so it’s best kept contained in a pot of multipurpose compost and divided every few years.
Once the flowers die off chop the mint right back. Mint does best when watered regularly and does not like to dry out unlike Mediterranean herbs.
There are many different varieties but ensure you keep them separate or you will loose the individual scents and flavours.
*Easy Peasy – Basic techniques/Suitable for Children with adult supervision/help.
**Treat as Tender – Intermediate Skills required/Children may need more help with this.
***Seasoned Kitchen Gardener – Confident Baker/Children might not be suited to this.
My name is Amanda and I live in Pembrokeshire with my fiancé and our garden is approximately 116 meters square. I want to share with you my love for gardening and the reasons behind it, from the good to the bad and ugly. I want to do this for my own personal pleasure. If you would like to take the journey with me then please read my blogs and share with me your gardening stories.