At the start of June I happened to flick over to the Kitchen Maid for a blog reading fix (her blog posts are short and sweet, ideal for a quick hit), when I saw the special ingredient for this month’s We Should Cocoa Challenge: coffee. Oh lordy may, I thought, chocolate and coffee, my two favourite things.

When it’s been a long day, or I feel the start of caffeine withdrawal shakes coming on, I buy a coffee and a Santé bar; I take my coffee black and my chocolate near abouts. I use the chocolate like a spoon, swirling it through the coffee, then licking the melted coffee-chocolate, feeling the rose creep back into my cheeks. It’s a dangerous way to live.

Then, just last weekend, I happened to be flicking through Julie Le Clerc’s Simple Café Food, looking for something else entirely, when I saw a recipe for Turkish Velvet Biscuits, with the sub-title “coffee, coffee and more coffee”. Oh lordy may, I thought, here we go!

These biscuits fill the kitchen with the scent of coffee. Take a pinch of the mixture and there is sweetness and a bit of spice, and then, the deep bitter flavour of coffee hits you. Despite using ground coffee in the dough, and then being rolled in ground coffee and sugar before baking, the texture is quite lovely. Yes, there is a bit of a grainy quality, but in the best possible sense. The coffee sugar creates a crisp outside with a sort of airy softness in the middle.

These biscuits fall in the same camp as biscotti for me. They aren’t overly sweet, ideally served with coffee (funny, that), and would even be nice with a coffee flavoured or cream based liqueur. I’m thinking they would be an excellent match for coffee, chocolate, or perhaps maple ice cream.

Turkish Velvet Biscuits
Barely adapted from Julie Le Clerc’s recipe

The chocolate here may seem like a bit of an after-thought, but the coffee is the shining star. I think you could possibly switch out the measure of ground coffee in the mix for an equal measure of cocoa for more of a mocha flavour.

2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
1/2 cup caster sugar
150 grams butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup finely ground coffee
1 egg
1 tablespoon strong espresso
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
50 grams dark chocolate
small knob of butter

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray.
In a small bowl mix the first measure of ground coffee with the first measure of sugar and set aside.
In a bowl cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the second measure of ground coffee, egg, espresso, all spice and baking soda. Stir through the flour until just incorporated.
Form into walnut sized balls and then roll through the coffee-sugar and place biscuits on baking tray.
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

In a microwave proof bowl melt the chocolate with the butter. Once the biscuits have cooled, drizzle chocolate over biscuits.

Makes 20-30 biscuits depending on size.

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