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18 May, 2011

little fava biscuits

yess, they are lovely

One of my childhood favourite was the ischler. I do not think that I have to introduce this to any Hungarian reader of mine but maybe for those who live abroad and have never heard of this phenomenon then I can say that this is one of the best thing that can happen to your sweet shortcrust pastry...I know, I know. I am providing you sth that needs shortcrust pastry again but I promise that this is the very last one (or not :)
Making these little biscuits at home is a bit time consuming but I think it worth the dedicated time and effort.
As you will see I used low-carb flour again, but please feel free to use "normal" flour if you want to. Also the sugar was sweetener for me but for you it can be made with brown sugar, demerara, icing or plain caster sugar.
The main ingredients are give in 3:2:1 as with any usual linzer torte (or shortcrust pastry) but let's see the recipe.

Ischler
150 g plain flour (for me it was gluten free flour but BL55 is fine)
150g low-carb flour
200 g butter (noooo, please don't use margarine)
100 g icing sugar (or the equivalent of that in sweetener) 
1 whole egg
pods of a vanilla bean (or if you don't have that then vanilla essence/extract/paste to your taste--depends on your budget)
1 lemon's zest
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder


Use the food processor (or your hands) and rub the butter in the flour(s), salt, baking powder mixture. Add the sugar or the sweetener, the lemon zest and the vanilla. As you already know we are making sand at this stage. Then add the egg (some recipes write only the yoke but for me it was too dry and I added the white as well for additional moisture). If the dough does not come together, then add a splash of milk as well. Put the dough in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes and in the meantime turn on the oven to 200°C.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of clingfilm (this is the easiest way of handling, and rolling shortcrust) to approximately 0,5 cm thick and cut out any shape of your preference with a biscuit cutter. Make sure that you make even number of biscuits, since we are going to sandwich them with jam when ready.

Put the biscuits in the oven and bake them for 10 minutes. In the meantime you can use up the excess pastry and roll them out again, cut out etc. Just make sure that you always pop the left-over dough in the fridge for a couple of minutes before rolling it out again, since the butter melts easily and you can ruin the biscuits.

Once the biscuits are out of the oven and cool enough to handle you can start sandwiching them one by one. I think that the retro(traditional) ischlers are filled with forest fruit jam (I would not swear to this but a red coloured jam comes to my mind from my childhood when I recollect) but this time I made ours with sugar free peach jam.

Last but not least the forsting. Very easy. Melt 50-60g dark chocolate (again I used sugar free) with one tablespoon of sunflower oil either over boiling water bath, or in the microwave (be careful, try not to burn down the chocolate) then dip the filled biscuits in the chocolate frosting, making sure that you cover only one side. You can decorate the top with crushed walnut or pistachios.

auntie Vanessa loved them as well
One more thing. You can use grated walnut, hazelnut, pistachio etc in the pastry but then decrease the amount of flour by the weight of the nut.

08 May, 2011

savoury biscuits for Easter (late post)

I do not like making much fuss about Easter. Don't know why. Maybe because I do not like the feast itself? Or just I am getting lazier? Who knows. But as long as the Queen of England does not send me a note that she would like to celebrate the Easter feast with us I will not make any efforts about this family holiday at all in the future either.
Of course, I was trying to make my Easter breakfast with ham, horseradish and eggs but otherwise the menu was quite simple.
This little biscuit that I will show you was on the menu as well (just to have something to nibble on, you know:) but since it is so easy to make it will be part of our everyday top 50 favourite and I will not wait till next Easter to make it.
The recipe was found here
My version is almost the same with a slight change in the recipe and in the ingredients.
the "Easter" biscuits, maybe the Queen would like them as well

Cheddar and Parmesan biscuits with rosemary

120g yoghurt butter
80g plain flour
80g low-carb flour
50g grated light cheddar (I used Cathedral light but you can pick your favourite)
50g grated Parmesan
one teaspoon of salt, grated black pepper
one egg
a splash of milk
2 tsp of dried rosemary (not the powdered one please)
pinch of baking powder

The method is almost the same as making shortcrust pastry that I have already written about in my previous post. Just to sum: you take your food processor, make "beach sand" out of the cold cubed butter, the flours and the baking powder. Add salt, pepper, rosemary and the cheese. One or two blitz and then add the egg and the splash of milk. Once it starts forming a dough you are ready.
Put the dough on  clingfilm and shape a big sausage out of the pastry then chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Heat the oven 180° Celsius and cut biscuits out of your sausage. Bake in the over for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven and the size of the portion that you put in once.
Consume with wine, cider or beer (or just on its own) but be careful, since it is addictive :)
some naughty boy wanted to taste it before shooting...