Chocolate Sour Cherry Biscuits

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This is a super-rich chocolate biscuit that, when baked to perfection, is crisp on the outside and fudge-like in the centre. The slight acidity of the occasional dried sour cherry cuts through the richness. The cherries can be replaced with other dried fruit or a mix of fruit and nuts if you prefer.

Ingredients

  • 235 g ( oz) dark chocolate (55% cocoa), chopped
  • 150 g ( oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 40 g ( oz/ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g ( oz) unsalted butter
  • 240 g ( oz) soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 85 g (3 oz) dried sour cherries

Method

Preheat the oven to 165°C (320°F/Gas 3).

Put the chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Allow the water in the saucepan to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and stir the chocolate while it slowly melts.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is incorporated before adding more. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, mixing well after each addition, then add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, then fold through the dried sour cherries. The mix can become quite sticky, so you may need to refrigerate it for 15 minutes before shaping the biscuits. Take 3 tablespoons of mixture at a time and roll into even-sized balls — you should make about 12 balls in total. Place the balls on baking trays lined with baking paper, allowing room for them to spread. Refrigerate for a further 30 minutes, or until firm. Bake in batches, for 15–20 minutes each, or until risen and quite cracked on top. Cool on the trays and eat, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.