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Cook this: Crumbly hazelnut and dark chocolate baci for Mothers Day

Time:2018-05-14 02:31wine - Red wine life health Click:

baci Mothers chocolate hazelnut Crumbly

Cook this: Crumbly hazelnut and dark chocolate baci for Mother's Day

For an elegant and edible gift, give mom some of Henrietta Inman's Italian sandwich cookies

Laura Brehaut

Laura Brehaut

Published on: May 9, 2018 | Last Updated: May 10, 2018 9:38 AM EDT

Cook this: Crumbly hazelnut and dark chocolate baci for Mothers Day

Crumbly Hazelnut and Dark Chocolate Baci from The Natural Baker by Henrietta Inman. Philippa Langley

Our cookbook of the week is The Natural Baker by accomplished pastry chef Henrietta Inman. Over the next four days, we’ll feature recipes from the book and an interview with its author.

To try another recipe from the book, check out: green pea, fava bean and feta cakes with mint; and walnut and flaxseed banana bread with lots of toppings.

These Italian-inspired cookies are gluten-free by nature. Baci di dama – “lady’s kisses” – are a specialty of Piedmont and consist of two tiny cookies sandwiching a dark chocolate filling.

Crumbly and tender, the cookies typically rely on the use of rice flour. In Henrietta Inman’s version, “soft”-tasting oat flour stands in for the rice, “allowing the hazelnut and chocolate, always a winning combination, to really sing.”

For an elegant and edible Mother’s Day gift, Inman recommends packing up a batch of her baci in a gift bag tied with ribbon. “They’re dainty and perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, or lovely after supper, too,” she writes.

CRUMBLY HAZELNUT AND DARK CHOCOLATE BACI

Makes: 18 sandwiched cookies

The Natural Baker by Henrietta Inman

In The Natural Baker, Inman presents more than 80 sweet and savoury baking recipes using wholegrain flours and unprocessed ingredients. Jacqui Small

For the cookies:
3/4 cup (100 g) oat flour
2/3 cup (100 g) blanched hazelnuts, or whole hazelnuts with skins
4 tsp (20 mL) arrowroot powder (this helps to bind the ingredients in this gluten-free dough)
Pinch of sea salt flakes
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
Generous 1/4 cup (60 g) light brown muscovado or coconut sugar
Scant 1/4 cup (40 g) unsalted butter, softened
Generous 1/3 cup (100 g) hazelnut butter
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the ganache:
100 g (3 1/2 oz) 85 per cent dark chocolate, broken up into small pieces
Generous 1/3 cup (100 g) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) Frangelico, or other hazelnut liqueur (optional)

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with baking parchment.

Step 2

Process the oat flour, hazelnuts, arrowroot, salt, baking powder and sugar in a food processor until fine. Add the butter and process to a crumb-like consistency. Add the hazelnut butter and vanilla extract and process until it comes together in a ball. Stop the processor to scrape the mix off the bottom of the bowl if necessary. (It’s quite a dry dough.)

Step 3

Roll into 36 balls, each about 1 tsp in size or 10–12 g (1/4–1/2 oz), and press each one in the palm of your hand, slightly rolling and forming it to make smooth rounds. Place on the prepared baking sheet, go around the edges with your fingers to neaten them up, then press each cookie gently with a fork. Bake for 8–10 minutes, until light golden brown; the surfaces will have just begun to crack. Leave to cool, while you make the ganache.

Step 4

Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil, add the liqueur, if using, mix, then pour over the chocolate. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth and emulsified. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ganache and leave to firm up in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

Step 5

Turn half the cookies over so their flat sides are uppermost. When the ganache is set but still soft, using a couple of teaspoons or a pastry bag, divide it over this half of the cookies, spreading it on their flat sides. Place a plain cookie on top to make a sandwich, press a little, then leave to set in a cool place. There will be some ganache left over. It can be used to fill pastry shells for chocolate tarts, to ice cakes, to spoon over ice cream, or even rolled into truffles, coated with cocoa powder. It’s also great used a chocolate spread for toast (it stores in the fridge for 1 week).

Step 6

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