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Posted by: Anna | August 29, 2021
What is a chocolate truffle?
Truffles are a confection usually (but not always) made with chocolate. In the shape of a ball, roughly an inch wide, they have a solid yet soft centre and an outer coating. They are called truffles because when hand rolled they can resemble the other kind of truffle. The deeply-scented, highly-prized edible fungus kind of truffle.
There are many types of chocolate truffle and several ways that you can include biscuits or cookies as an ingredient.
The classic chocolate truffle is the Belgian truffle, which is made of chocolate ganache and has an outer coat of solid chocolate. Swiss and French chocolate truffles are also made of ganache but are tossed in a coat of cocoa.
Not all truffles are made of ganache. As long as it is rolled into a ball and involves some kind of coating around a semi soft centre then anything goes.
What is ganache?
Chocolate ganache is a filling favoured by pastry chefs and chocolatiers. A mix of melted chocolate with cream and/or butter, it has a smooth texture that melts in the mouth. Depending on the ratio of chocolate, butter and cream it can be dense or gooey. Ganache is not difficult to make but it does need to be made with care and also needs plenty of time to cool properly.
How to make ganache
Ganache is made by heating double (heavy) cream, plus butter if using, and stirring in chopped chocolate until the chocolate is melted. This is then left to cool completely. The butter (unsalted) gives the ganache a firmer texture, a shinier finish and a real melt in the mouth quality. The exact recipe will vary depending on the final result you aim to achieve.
How to make chocolate truffles
Truffles are made by rolling cooled ganache (or alternative mixture) into balls. They are usually about 1 inch in diameter, which is a generous teaspoon of mix. The ganache can also be set in moulds. The balls are then rolled immediately in cocoa, crumb, coconut or chopped nuts. If dipping in melted chocolate then the balls are left to set on the outside first. The dipped truffles are then rolled in a coating and left to set.
How to make truffles with biscuits
There are two ways you can make truffles with biscuits. One is a no-cook version involving cocoa, condensed milk and biscuit crumb. The other is to make classic chocolate truffles like a chocolatier would make, and either incorporate the biscuit crumb into the ganache or roll the truffles in biscuit crumb. Or both. You could get pretty creative with textures and flavours. A classic truffle rolled in biscuit crumb is surprisingly good.
Essentially, there is the quick way to make biscuit truffles and the not so quick way. Both are fairly easy.
You can use most biscuits for making truffles as long as they will blitz down into a fine crumb. If you want to add biscuit to ganache, this can be in slightly larger pieces to add a contrasting crunch. Plain biscuits can be surprisingly effective, or play about with different flavours and textures. This post goes into more detail about using biscuits for crumb.
Quick and easy no-cook biscuit truffle recipe
You can use any biscuits you like for making these truffles, but they do need to be of the crunchy variety (not chewy or soft). You could experiment with cream filled biscuits yet it is probably best to start off simple.
395g tin of condensed milk
- Blitz the biscuits to a fine crumb in a food processor and set aside 100g.
- Mix together the rest of the biscuits, cocoa and condensed milk.
- Divide the mixture using two teaspoons and roll into balls.
- Roll the balls, whilst still sticky, in the remaining crumb.
- Set aside to harden a little before eating.
How to roll truffles in melted chocolate
If you want to roll your truffles in melted chocolate then it is best to temper your chocolate first. Find out how to temper chocolate in this post about making chocolate bark. You can get away with not tempering, especially if you plan on rolling them straight into biscuit crumb, but you won’t get that chocolate snap when you bite into them.
For rolling in biscuit crumb, you want a fine crumb that is the texture of ground almonds. Put it in a container that you can easily pick up and shake gently from side to side. Like a square plastic container.
Either way, dip the truffles into the fairly cool melted chocolate and turn them over a few times using a fork. Lift the truffle out on the fork, and let all of the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Once the truffle is no longer dripping with chocolate, drop it gently into your fine biscuit crumb. Move the container around so that the truffle rolls in the crumb and becomes fully coated. Place each truffle on a surface to dry and move onto rolling the next one.
This article was reproduced on this site only with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Gourmet Online Wholesale Grocer”. See original article:- How to make Biscuit Truffles
Posted by: Anna | August 2, 2021
Cheese and crackers is one of those rare things that completely belies its simplicity. The moreish combination of crispy, salty and savoury is the stuff that food dreams are made of.
It can be snack, lunch, dessert, post-dessert or canape. Entire gatherings are orchestrated as an excuse to indulge in wine, cheese and crackers.
An early incarnation of the cracker was hardtack, the ship’s biscuit of swashbuckling tales of pirates at sea. A hard baked mix of flour and water, plus salt if you were lucky, hard tack was cheap to make and virtually impossible to destroy. It provided sustenance on long arduous journeys.
By the late 1800s bakers were making thinner lighter versions known as crackers and, alongside cheese, they became a staple menu item. Eventually, the bakers got creative with different flours, seeds, spices and the like.
But there was also flatbread. Around since man learned to grind grains. Also a flat dough made from flour, water, and salt it is made with or without yeast.
What is lavosh flatbread?
Lavosh flatbread, also spelled lavash, is a wafer thin bread from Armenia, Iran and surrounding countries. Traditionally baked on a clay oven, it is so ingrained in the culture of these communities that it has achieved UNESCO status. Soft and flexible when fresh, lavosh dries out quickly to become hard and brittle. It is stored as stacks of dried flatbreads which are crumbled into soup or rehydrated with a sprinkling of water.
Of course this thin dried bread makes the ideal cracker.
Lavosh crackers are crisp and delicate. The ideal vehicle for just about anything. Ideal for cheese platters or to serve with dips, they are both blank canvas and deep savoury flavour.
Our yeast-free flatbread crackers come in two varieties –
Toppings for savoury biscuits
Savoury biscuits are incredibly versatile. You can serve them with soup or crumble them into croutons. Although they are great served alongside dips such as hummus or baba ganoush, they also make excellent snacks or canapes.
Pile high with your favourite toppings. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
- Mozzarella, tomato and pesto
- Salami, parmesan and olives
- Cream cheese, cucumber, fresh dill and black pepper
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Pate and apricot jam
- Guacamole and tomato salsa
- Cream cheese, smoked salmon and rocket
- Feta cheese, honey and oregano (our personal favourite)
And then of course, there’s cheese and biscuits…
Cheese and biscuits
A cheese platter, whether a mini version for a solo TV binge or a full on party ensemble, is one of the true joys of life.
Keep it simple with a slice of cheddar and an apple, or go all out with different cheeses, fruits, chutneys, and wine. Don’t forget the wine.
How to set up a cheese and cracker platter
It might seem simple enough, but a little attention to detail never hurt anyone. Aim for a balance of different shapes, colours and textures. You don’t to get too complicated.
Serve a variety of cheeses, at room temperature. Aim for 3 to 5 cheeses, and serve anywhere between 50 – 150g per person. Choose a mix of soft and hard cheeses, with a range of milk types (cow, goat, sheep).
You could for example pick –
- a blue cheese, such as Roquefort,
- one hard cheese, such as mature Cheddar, Parmesan or Manchego
- a white rind cheese, such as Brie or Camembert
- one Swiss type cheese, such as Gouda or Emmental
- a different cheese, that has an unusual colour or additions such as herbs, spices, or dried fruits.
Maybe add a little charcuterie in the form of Parma ham or salami.
Definitely add fruit to add colour, acidity and sweetness. Fruit also serves to cleanse the palate, what with all the salty, dry, crispy, savoury elements going on. Anything goes, although some things go better than others. Personally we wouldn’t really want strawberries with our smoked cheese or oranges with our Red Leicester. Stick to apple, pear, grapes, or ripe figs. Maybe a few blueberries.
How about some nuts? Raw, not salty. Hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds are all good. Either in the shells with a nutcracker or just scattered about to graze upon lazily.
What else can you find at the deli? Olives, mi-cuit tomatoes, marinated artichokes, or cornichons perhaps? Pickled onions for the die hard traditionalists.
A few chutneys wouldn’t go amiss. Maybe just one.
Take a look at what you’ve got and see if you can balance the colours and make it pop. A sprig or rosemary or thyme; lavender even. Wedges of jewel red radicchio.
What more could you want.
Posted by: Anna | July 4, 2021
If there’s one thing that we love as much as we love biscuits, it has to be tea. Tea and biscuits is the embodiment of the term ‘life’s simple pleasures’.
We get so caught up in the treadmill of no-dairy, no-sugar, no-caffeine that we sometimes forget that just a mindful moment with a cuppa and bickie is all we need.
But where does our love of tea and biscuits come from? Other than the fact that they are…well, bloody nice.
Tea and biscuits…in so many words.
There are many traditions that basically boil down to the same thing. A cup of tea and a little something sweet.
The forerunner of them all was probably afternoon tea. Invented by the British upper classes in the early Victorian age, afternoon tea was a light meal designed to stave off hunger in the afternoon as dinner was traditionally served late in the evening. Also known as low tea, it was served on low tables away from the formality of the dining table. A casual, although refined affair, afternoon tea consists of dainty little things served with a pot of tea. Finger sandwiches, scones, and small cakes are all typical of afternoon tea.
At around the same period, as the Industrial Revolution gathered steam, the working classes were also partaking of tea. High tea was originally a meal taken when coming in from work. Eaten at the table (the only table aka the kitchen table) this was a more substantial meal yet also accompanied by a pot of tea. There would be pie, bread, maybe some cold meat. Perhaps a loaf cake, or some crumpets. Biscuits.
The upper classes thought this was all jolly good fun and so also had their own version of high tea, taken if one was going to the theatre or something and expected a very late supper.
The term high tea is now more likely to be interchangeable with afternoon tea, and taken to mean the classic afternoon tea of tea, sandwiches and scones; usually eaten out, as a treat.
The changes to the working pattern of the world led to changes in the way people eat. An early start meant an early breakfast, and so the concept of a mid morning snack was born. We already understood the restorative power of a cup of tea and a biscuit, and the once expensive tea and sugar were more readily available than ever.
To this day, tea and biscuits means a break. It might be a social affair; a catch up in a cafe with a friend. It may be a solitary pleasure; a moment of me time. Whatever it may be, savour it slowly, enjoy it and appreciate it as millions of workers before you have done. And if you are one of the rare folk who doesn’t like tea…
…well there’s always coffee.
Posted by: Anna | May 6, 2021
Are you on board with gluten-free biscuits? Whether you are a cafe, a mum, or a friendly neighbor, sometime, somewhere, it is always time for a cuppa. And who doesn’t like to indulge in a little something sweet.
The demand for gluten-free products is higher than ever, and still rising.
The internet is filled with ideas on how to make the best gluten-free biscuits or recipes for gluten-free chocolate chip cookies but not everybody wants to spend their free time baking. Maybe, you just want to sit in a quiet space with a cup of coffee and a gluten-free treat? Or be able to indulge over a chat with a friend. The more suppliers that get on board and offer gluten-free choices the better. Whether you are a cafe owner, a wholesaler, or a corner shop, offering alternatives can only be a good thing, right?
Gluten is a substance formed from the proteins in wheat. It gives wheat flour the remarkable properties that make it such a versatile ingredient.
Those with coeliac disease cannot tolerate gluten as even the smallest amount triggers an immune response that damages the intestine. With this comes many unpleasant and painful symptoms.
Gluten sensitivity can cause similar symptoms but is triggered by different antibodies. This sensitivity to gluten is often attributed to the changing DNA of modern wheat and its prevalence in the western diet. It cannot be denied that giving up gluten is also a major trend. Many people give up gluten and find that it simply helps them to make food choices that support their personal well being.
Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that more and more people are choosing gluten-free products, including sweet treats such as biscuits and cookies.
Are gluten-free cookies healthy?
Gluten-free cookies should be viewed like any other cookie. As an occasional sweet treat. Gluten-free does not automatically mean healthier, but it can mean more choice for everyone.
Do gluten-free cookies taste different?
We often expect free-from foods to be a replica of the original. But without the properties of gluten this can be difficult to achieve. Different flours behave in different ways and working with them is not always easy. It isn’t so much a question of lowering expectations but rather to keep an open mind. The texture of a gluten-free biscuit may not be exactly as you expect but that doesn’t make it any less delicious. That said, as demand rises, both artisan and commercial bakers are finding better ways to get the best from new ingredients. Sometimes you really cannot tell the difference. There are many people that prefer the gluten-free varieties.
Is xanthan gum gluten-free?
Xanthan gum is gluten-free. Used in baked goods to mimic some of the effects of gluten, it helps dough to hold onto water. Not all products containing xanthan gum will be gluten free, but you will find it in many gluten-free products.
Posted by: Anna | March 22, 2021
Chocolate biscuit cake, depending on who you ask, ranges from broken up biscuits in a sort of solid ganache (aka fridge cake) to putting biscuit crumb in actual cake batter.
Then there’s a sort of layer cake made from plain biscuits, maybe soaked in a little alcohol, and sandwiched with sweetened cream. As if that weren’t enough, there is the Australian classic – the chocolate ripple biscuit cake.
All of them have a lovely 1950s housewife feel to them. A time when food out of the packets was the new frontier and baking ingenuity knew no bounds.
How to make cake using biscuits
What they all have in common is biscuits. Yay. And chocolate. Unless you feel particularly inventive, in which case you could go beyond chocolate and try different types of biscuits and frostings. This will only really work with the ripple biscuit/layer cake style scenario. Fridge cake wouldn’t be fridge cake without chocolate. It wouldn’t stick together for a start. You could try white chocolate, that could be good.
And they involve no cooking, unless you count a bit of melting or whipping. If that is too much of a stretch for you, then you can just eat biscuits straight from the packet and be done with it…
Broken biscuit cake
Also known as biscuit fridge cake, or tiffin, this is that deliciously moreish wedge of chocolate crammed with bits of biscuit. It manages to be dense and toothsome, yet soft, all at the same time. sometimes it has other things inside too, such as cherries.
Basic recipe for chocolate fridge cake using condensed milk
1 can condensed milk
3/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chunks
1 pack plain biscuits
- Line a tin or any shallow container with greaseproof paper
- Break the biscuits into a large bowl
- In a small pan over a low heat, melt the butter, condensed milk, and chocolate together.
- Mix this into the biscuits.
- Press into the tin and chill in the fridge for several hours or until set.
Chocolate ripple biscuit cake
Chocolate ripple cake is the stuff of childhood fantasy. It centered originally around the particular texture (or maybe widespread availability) of the chocolate ripple biscuit. If you feel brave enough to break free of tradition then you could try a triple choc chip cookie. You could dispense with the chocolate altogether, and experiment with anzac biscuits or maybe a coffee cream? Just saying.
If you do feel the need to behave in such an outrageous manner there is only one rule. You have to keep it kitchy cool.
This biscuit cake is made by whipping cream, with a touch of icing sugar and a dash of vanilla, and sandwiching the biscuits together. Do them in groups of four, and lie the stacks on a plate so that the biscuits are horizontal. So that you have the cross section of stripes when you cut into it. Lay three or four stacks in a length so that you have a log shape. Now cover the whole lot with more softly whipped cream. Decorate with broken chocolate biscuits, lollies, or whatever else you fancy.
You could add Baileys or another alcohol to the cream. You do need to be careful when adding liquid/alcohol/vanilla to cream as it may seize. Or just pour a few shots of alcohol over the biscuit stacks.
You could use frosting instead of cream. Or the chocolate mix from the tiffin above. A chocolate glaze is a nice addition. To make a chocolate glaze simply stir a teaspoon of vegetable oil into melted chocolate and pour it on.
Cream cheese and orange biscuit cake
Here’s a nice cream cheese frosting with a bit of orange zest and a little honey. Maybe a touch of cinnamon and these ginger and date biscuits?
Mix 600g cream cheese with 200g soft unsalted butter and 100g of icing sugar. Stir in 2 tbsp honey and the zest of 1 or 2 oranges.
Italian biscuit cake
In Italy, of course, they make their fridge cake with style. Not only will it include things like pistachios and candied peel, but is rolled into a sausage shape and tied up with string like an actual salami. It is even called chocolate salami.
Rocky road biscuit cake
Good old rocky road. Not to be messed with, it is simply fridge cake but with mini marshmallows and raisins. Milk chocolate please.
How to store chocolate biscuit cake
Whatever road of biscuit cake you choose to follow, it belongs in the fridge. Where it will live quite happily for 3 days if it has fresh cream or over a week if it does not.
Posted by: Anna | February 26, 2021
The perfect buttery biscuit crumb base is an essential part of a good cheesecake. Also part of many other desserts, it is a great shortcut to have up your sleeve. But you don’t need to stick with boring biscuits. Any biscuit can be used to make a great cheesecake base.
How to make a biscuit base
A classic biscuit crumb base is made from crushed biscuits mixed with melted butter and set in the fridge. It can form just the base of your cheesecake or dessert, or be pressed up the sides to form a crust.
You can get really creative with your base, and not just in terms of the biscuits used. Try piling the butter/crumb mix into the base of glasses and topping with chocolate mousse, or even just custard mixed with lemon curd.
Classic dishes using a crumb base, other than cheesecake, include banoffee pie, key lime pie, and peanut butter pie. You can make mini versions by lining bun tins with the biscuit crumb mixture. Not so classic ways to use a biscuit crumb base include lemon meringue pie with a biscuit base instead of pastry, or a lemon tart with biscuit base, or even a chocolate tart. Any dessert you can think of that uses a blind baked pastry base is a prime candidate for a buttery biscuit base.
What are the best biscuits for a cheesecake base?
As long as they are crisp biscuits not soft chewy type cookies, you can use any biscuits for your base. A food processor helps with chocolate coated or cream filled biscuits in order to form a nice even crumb. A cream filled biscuit will create a softer sweeter crumb but is well worth experimenting with. Some biscuits will absorb less butter than others, so you may need to play about with proportions.
You could try…
Or even a passion fruit cream.
Make a gluten free biscuit crumb base with our gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
Biscuit base recipe
This will line the base of a 23cm round tin. If you want to press the mixture up the sides, make twice the recipe.
125g unsalted butter, melted
- Blitz the biscuits in a food processor to a fine crumb. Or, put them in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Whichever you choose, you want something that looks like damp sand.
- Tip the crumb into a bowl. Even if you used a food processor.
- Stir the butter into the crumb using a wooden spoon or spatula. You want something that just sticks together.
- Press the mixture gently into the tin and set in the fridge for half an hour before filling.
- You can pile the crumb loosely onto a baking tray and set without pressing to form a crumble.
Can I make a vegan biscuit base?
You can make a vegan biscuit base as long as your biscuits are vegan and contain no animal products. Just switch out the butter for coconut oil or a plant-based butter. Choose a hard block butter, not a soft spreadable one.
Why is my cheesecake biscuit base too crumbly?
If your biscuit base is too crumbly, you may not have created a fine even crumb, or you may need more butter.
You may not have pressed hard enough when lining the tin.
However a base that is crumbly is infinitely preferable to one that is too hard.
If your biscuity base is too hard then you may have over mixed, which can often result if you blend the butter and the crumb together in a food processor. Too much butter can lead to a mixture that sets too hard – if your crumb mixture looks wet or greasy then you have too much butter. You may also just have pressed too hard when lining the tin.
Posted by: Anna | January 31, 2021
Try this easy ice cream sandwich recipe using triple chocolate cookies and salted caramel ice cream.
As well as the cookies and the ice cream you will need milk, dark and white chocolate, and chopped hazelnuts. Or use all purpose ‘nibs’ usually made from almonds – you will find them in the baking aisle. You will also need chocolate hazelnut spread.
You can make the cookie ice cream sandwiches up in advance and freeze them in batches.
Because biscuits…and ice cream.
An ice cream sandwich is made from ice cream sandwiched between biscuits, cookies, or wafers. The perfect decadent dessert, they are super easy to make using store bought cookies and ice cream. A drizzle of chocolate and a scatter of nuts gives you maximum impact for minimal effort. We add chocolate hazelnut spread to our recipe to make them extra special and super chocolatey.
Hazelnut triple chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich recipe
You will need –
1 pack triple chocolate cookies 4 tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread 250ml salted caramel ice cream 50g dark chocolate, melted 50g milk chocolate, melted 50g white chocolate, melted 2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
- Let the ice cream soften a little.
- Spread the cookies with hazelnut chocolate spread.
- Top half of the cookies with ice cream.
- Top with the other half to make sandwiches.
- Place in the freezer until the ice cream has firmed up a little.
- Drizzle with melted chocolate.
- Scatter with nuts.
- Transfer back to the freezer and serve as required
To make your ice cream sandwiches soft enough to eat, leave them at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving. To make it easier to eat, wrap them in a folded square of greaseproof paper.