I had been wanting to make these for a while, but partly because I sometimes delay projects and don’t come back to them until later and also partly because I had tried to make them and they had turned out ghastly, I still had to manage these visually stunning biscuits. Until now. I found this recipe posted on a food blog, but as they are not the author’s I will quote the original source, that is the Green & Blacks Recipe Book. These are shortbread biscuits but, hélas, very buttery, so not for the fainthearted.
They are kind of easy to make, provided you stick to the chilling time advised and try not to rush the whole biscuit-building process. It is fundamental that the two types of dough are very (very!) cold before and during assembling, or the whole swirl will just melt. Also, do not try and bake these at room temperature (as I did the first time), but rather put them in a really hot oven from fridge cold. You can see that mine are not exactly round and they look like they were melting on the outside. That is because the silly me forgot to check the oven temperature and it was too low to start with… Ahem…
Ingredients (for the vanilla dough)
150g plain flour
50g caster sugar
Ingredients (for the chocolate dough)
- 125g plain flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 50g caster sugar
- 125 butter
- Start by making the plain (vanilla) dough first. Sift the flour in a food processor, then add the sugar and butter. Start to blend. This will take a few minutes, but you will see the mixture starting to come together in clumps. When the sound of the food processor changes and you see bib blobs of dough going around, turn the engine off and tip the dough on a working surface. Bring together with your hands and lightly knead to incorporate all of the ingredients, then shape into a ball, flatten it, wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Repeat the same process for the cocoa mixture. There is no need to wash the food processor. Remember to sift the flour and the cocoa powder this time. Wrap and chill the chocolate dough for the same time as the plain one.
- Once the two types of dough are very firm and thoroughly chilled, take them out of the fridge and lay two sheets of baking parchment on your work surface.
- Lightly flour a rolling pin, then use it to roll out each dough (on a sheet of baking parchment respectively) to the thickness of a pound coin. You should obtain a large rectangle.
- Once both types of dough are rolled out, take the chocolate dough and lay it on top of the plain one, using the baking parchment to help you to lift it. Place the longest side towards you, then start gently rolling the dough up, carefully wrapping it and making sure not to break it. Tightly wrap it, then remove the baking parchment, wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge to firm up completely for at least 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets with parchment (you could even use the ones you used to roll out the dough).
- Remove the sausage-like biscuit log from the fridge, then use a very sharp knife to cut thin slices of the log. You will see immediately that the biscuit has a spiral-like hidden pattern. Lay these on the baking sheets, then put them in the fridge to firm up again for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 25 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.