Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Salty/sweet



I have two confessions to make. The first is that I watch a lot of recipe programmes. We have subscriptions to the Good Food Channel and the Food Network and I find they're a great way to wind down in the evenings. My favourites are Nigel and Nigella as I love the way they're styled and shot (and Nigel Slater has such a friendly manner), but the other day I stumbled on 'Unique Sweets' about the best bakeries and restaurant desserts to be found around the US. 

There were rave reviews about an unusual biscuit from a San Francisco bakery called Goodygoodie: a chocolate wafer sprinkled with raw cocoa nibs and chopped olives. There seems to be a trend for combining salty and sweet flavours in baking at the moment. Nigella herself has a passion for salted caramel and I loved the idea of the floral saltiness of olives with chocolate, but San Francisco is a bit of a trek. I had never heard of chocolate wafers but realised that they are those tubular, crispy (often striped) biscuits that sometimes come with coffee in a cafe.





I found this basic recipe, some cocoa nibs for sale and bagged a jar of kalamata olives from the supermarket.

The cocoa nibs are crunchy and buttery and the wafers are crispy-edged and delicious. The spike of the salty olives make these utterly moreish. The best part of the recipe* is that its so quick and easy and it makes a small number of wafers - just enough for a treat with a cuppa. They disappear quickly. The Mr thinks that small pieces of very crispy bacon would be good sprinkled on these biscuits but that may be a step too far.

As for my other confession, I like a little marmite under the jam on my toasted crumpets. I think it's OK to admit that nowadays.



This post was due to be part of Making Winter Week but the cocoa nibs took a little while to arrive.

There have been so many gorgeous contributions to this month's link up - huge thanks to everyone who has commented and posted. Thriftyhousehold and I are relaxed about the timings of the project and this month's list is open for another week or two, so if you'd like to discover some lovely wintry recipes and craft or you'd like to join in then follow the link above. I'll be making some mosaics from the Flickr pool later in the week.

* Recipe for chocolate wafers with cocoa nibs and olives
Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment and preheat an oven to 200C/400F

Mix the following thoroughly (makes 12-14 biscuits):

1/4 cup plus two teaspoons all-purpose/plain flour
1/3 cup confectioner's/icing sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons heavy/double cream
1 large eggwhite
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch table salt


  • Make three small piles of mixture on the baking sheet along the longer edge. Spread each into a longish shape (approx 10x 4cm) with a table or palette knife.
  • Onto each wafer sprinkle a good pinch of coca nibs and a good pinch of finely chopped Kalamata olives 
  • Bake for 5-8 minutes or until very slightly darkened round the edge.
  • Cool. 
  • Eat.

27 comments:

Rachel said...

Certainly sounds intriguing. I've noticed a sudden rush of "salted caramel" and "salted chocolate", and I'm still not entirely convinced, but it does make a slightly less conventional combination of flavours.

Pomona said...

I think I need to take my chocolate straight! My favourite is the soapy combination of chocolate and violet in violet creams - I always sniff them before I eat them to add to the pleasure!!

Pomona x

Country Rabbit said...

my mouth is watering ;0)...nom nom nom ;0)x ...yes i love nigel, nigella...jamie olivers ones when he sat outside in his veg patch were great too...i love gathering ideas, im not a great cook but i like to try new things ;0)x
thanks for sharing x

Sue said...

Wow, they do sound interesting. I have a confession to make -I loathe cookery programmes - even if they are cookery writers I admire.

Toffeeapple said...

You put jam - on crumpets? Oh dear me, no! Only salty butter goes on crumpets and Marmite must never be adulterated with anything other than butter. So my Mother told me and so, that is how it has always been.

Cate said...

sounds divine, i love salty and sweet treats! x

trash said...

No. No Missus Pebble. There is a never a right time to admit such a thing.

Annie said...

Salted caramel ... yum! Olives with my chocolate ... I might take some persuading but I'll certainly give it a go. Marmite and jam ... um, no, that is so wrong ;D

A question ... do you and Mrs TH plan a Making Summer? Only being of the cold-weather-reigns-supreme persuasion I could really do with convincing that summer has some benefits beyond the longer days

dottycookie said...

I trust you're bringing these on Saturday ...

Thrifty Household said...

Olives & chocolate...not a combination I've encountered before, I feel the need to taste this... I'm very fond of salted chocolate (& recently sprinkled salted peanuts in to melted chocolate to create mini clusters- they were wonderful!)

Tales from a happy house said...

Never heard of the chocolate/olive combo but am very intrigued to try it. I too love cookery programmes - I've just discovered The Barefoot Contessa. She's amazing!

Mrs. Micawber said...

The bacon sounds rather tasty to me - I've been a fan of salty and sweet since childhood, always preferring chocolate frosting on saltines to chocolate frosting on graham crackers. (And have never learned to like olives.)

I did see chocolate-covered potato chips (crisps) for sale some years ago.

"Cocoa nibs" - what a fun phrase! They look delicious studded over the wafers.

CraftyLoops said...

Ohhhh yummy. Lee x

Tania said...

Er, no. I'm not sure it is ok to make a Marmite admission such as that. EW! Totally convinced on all that sweet/salty chocolate malarkey, however.

a simple yarn said...

Right, a long-standing combo from my childhood is the ever popular white chocolate dipped pretzel (wiping a smidge of drool from my mouth as I type that!).

And what a great idea for chocolate nibs! I work with just such a product (nibs being the fancy name for chopped up cocoa beans). Never ever thought to combine it with olives though!

Sewing In CT said...

there has been some recent chocolate activity with bacon here in the states on the east coast! I have seen it though I'm not brave enough to try. A favorite bacon appetizer is baked after being brushed with maple syrup which is salty and sweet.
I've also been known to dip pretzel sticks into a jar of Nutella!

Thomasina Tittlemouse said...

The chocolate wafers look wonderful! Can you let on where you got the cocoa nibs from? The salt and sweet thing is interesting - I didn't think I would like salted caramels but although you can taste the saltiness, what really comes through is just an enhanced intensity of caramel flavour. I don't think your Marmite and jam combination on crumpets is any stranger than the classic American peanut butter and jelly sandwich so don't be bashful about it! I think Nigella has a recipe somewhere for some cookies that use that combo - I must look it up.

do you mind if i knit said...

Gosh Emma, your cooking looks absolutely delicious! We're big fans of the sweet salty thing too, Rococco Chocolates do delicious salt chocolate wafers that I give to Hugo as gifts, so I'll show him your recipe, he'll have to try it! I've been meaning to leave you a comment saying that my sister LOVES the necklace you made that I bought for her Christmas present, so that's two things I've bought from you that she adores, and I can't stress enough just how picky my sister is, and how she has absolutely no qualms about telling me if she doesn't like something! To have found somewhere I can buy her gifts guaranteed to please my sister is quite wonderful and amazing, so thank you! Vanessa xxx

Fee said...

Oh well done, we have been saved a trip to San Francisco! I have never tried salt and sweet together.

Fee

Tabiboo said...

What a strange combination and very intriguing.

I do hav to confess to addin a layer of marmite under m peanut butter......on toast.

Nina xxx

do you mind if i knit said...

Hello Emma,
the earrings I bought from you have just arrived safe and sound, and they are beautiful! Thank you, I know my sister will love them, her Birthday is in May, end of May. And I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful Winifred Nicholson postcard! It will be treasured, thank you so much. Vanessa xxx

French Knots said...

Mmm salty and sweet together is delish, will have to rummage in the pantry now and see what I can find.....

mandy said...

Hi Emma... Yum, double yum even. I do the whole marmite and peanut butter thing as well. Stay warm and cozy :)

Freda said...

Any tips on how to measure a quarter of a cupful? The 'plus two teaspoons' suggests you have to be precise! And a third of a cupful?
'cos I'd love to try these!

Highland Monkey's said...

Hmmm they look scrummy, pass them around then!

Calico Kate said...

Those look amazing though I'm not sure about the olive bit (or the bacon!!) Will have to add these to the long list of things to make.... I'm planning to make your Muffin recipe for a crafty evening on Thursday. Will let you know how they turn out!
CKx

Lori ann said...

oh yumyum! i'm here from vanessa's, do you mind if i knit. what a delicious post! i'm off to visit your etsy shop too, i've heard your jewelry is lovely!