Over the past few days, I’ve been working on last year’s tax declaration, a rather frustrating task that is only bearable with lots of sweets on the side. Or a glass of wine, which I don’t recommend to avoid serious problems with your tax office due to illogical inconsistencies caused by a tipsy mind. This highly responsible – but absolutely boring work – needs lots of concentration and sugar to keep the brain cells awake. I think any kind of cookie would have worked in my case – I’m always happy when I have these sweet, chunky bites in my mouth – but I was after a powerful treat, packed with spice and bittersweetness.
And here’s what I came up with: Ginger Chili Double Chocolate Cookies. I would call it a proper man’s cookie, at least our male friends who passed through our flat recently were absolutely hooked on them and praised the perfect balance of softness and crunch. They are very dark, with chocolaty depth, I used melted bittersweet chocolate plus roughly chopped chunks and only a little bit of flour, which had an amazing effect on the texture. These cookies are soft inside, a bit fudgy, and wrapped in a thin, shiny crust – perfect. I stirred in plenty of freshly grated ginger and finely chopped fresh red chili pepper. The result was hot, citrusy and fresh – don’t expect a slight hint of the spices, they are present.
You have to take these cookies out of the oven at the right point, when the dough is just done. I made 11 cookies, 10 were perfect, and only 1 of them (for whatever reason) was still too gooey inside for my taste. The chocolate flavour is intense, I wouldn’t use chocolate much darker than 55% for this recipe, the bitter note can become too overpowering and disturb the spices – even for men.
Ginger Chili Double Chocolate Cookies
Makes 10-12 cookies
bittersweet chocolate (about 55%) 300g /10 1/2 ounces
unsalted butter 45g / 3 tablespoons
freshly grated ginger 1 heaping tablespoon
ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
plain flour 65g / 1/2 cup
baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
organic eggs 2
granulated sugar 100g / 1/2 cup
fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon
medium hot fresh red chili, finely chopped, 2 teaspoons
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roughly chop 1/3 of the chocolate (100g / 3 1/2 ounces) and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining chocolate, the butter, ginger, and cinnamon over low heat, stirring occasionally. Let it cool for 2 minutes.
Combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs, sugar, and salt for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Whisk in the melted chocolate until well combined. Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour and chopped chocolate until just combined. Stir in the chili and scoop 1 heaping tablespoon for each cookie onto the lined baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between the cookies. Don’t flatten the cookies. Bake for about 11-12 minutes or until the cookies are a little crunchy outside and slightly soft in the middle. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the cookies cool for 10-15 minutes before you transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely, the chocolate will need a little while to become hard again.