Cheese and Anchovy Biscuits

People really appreciate freshly made nibbles to eat with drinks. For these light and thin savoury biscuits you can make the dough as far in advance as you like and keep it in a long roll in the freezer, ready to be quickly made into biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 225 g/8 oz plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4-5 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 175 g/6 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 x 50 g/2 oz tins anchovy fillets
  • 100 g/4 oz strong Cheddar cheese, grated
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Method

Sift the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper and sugar into a bowl.

Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour until crumbly. Drain the oil from the anchovies into the mixture, slice the anchovy fillets into very small pieces and stir them into the mixture with the grated Cheddar. Using floured hands, gather up the dough into 2 balls and form each ball into a long roll, either round- or oval-shaped, about 4 cm/ in in diameter. Wrap each roll in cling film and place carefully on a flat surface in the freezer.

To bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Take a frozen roll from the freezer and, using a very sharp knife, slice off pieces of dough as thinly as possible. Place fairly close together on a large baking sheet. Wrap the remaining part of the roll up again and put it back in the freezer. Sprinkle the biscuits with a little grated Parmesan and bake in the centre of the oven for 7-8 minutes, until pale brown. Ease the biscuits off the baking sheet with a palette knife while still warm. Cool on a wire rack.