These Ottolenghi chocolate sesame sandwich cookies are far more fancy than my usual cookies (aka biscuits). But when you are invited to a high tea for book club, it calls for something a bit ooh la la. I had seen these biscuits made by Cindy recently and was intrigued. They were a little different to my expectations but nevertheless amazing.
I hadn't really figured out what to make for the high tea until I saw Cindy's biscuits. Then I had to have these, even though they looked like a lot of work and I had a family lunch before book club. High tea requires some effort, though it must look like a breeze.
I was glad to have Cindy's comments on the method, especially the advice to chill the cookie mixture before cooking. While I loved these biscuits, I was a bit unsure if this was how they were intended and have as many questions as comments about them.
Chilling the mixture meant I was baking biscuits as well as mixing the fillings after putting Sylvia down to sleep in the evening. The Ottolenghi recipe is for yo-yos. I am quite familiar with yo-yo biscuits which are crisp and short and buttery. These chocolate sesame biscuits were quite soft. I wasn't sure if this was intended or if they needed more time because I had chilled the mixture. I also had an instinct to press down on the biscuits to flatten them slightly like my mum does with yo yos (even if the mixture was too soft to do it with a fork). I am not sure whether Ottolenghi meant them to be round or flatter.
I do know that Ottolenghi intended for these to use 70% dark chocolate. I had thought I had dark choc chips but got home and found we only had 100g of 70% dark chocolate in a block and a bag of milk choc chips. So I fiddled with the ganache by adding cocoa and a bit of salt to make the ganache darker. It was a bit cheeky but I was too tired to go out to the shops again. And it seemed to work.
My next question:. Does a mixture of marscapone, tahini and sugar taste like cheesecake to anyone? Not to me. I am not very familiar with marscapone but it tastes to me like a thickened cream. And I am not that fond of cream. Ottolenghi calls it cheesecake mixture but it is tahini cream to me. I have wondered what it would be like with cream cheese instead of marscapone. However, the tahini cream worked brilliantly so I am not going to quibble too much about nomenclature.
I was up early in the morning to sandwich together the cookies before going to Geelong for lunch. I had all the components prepared so it was pretty easy as a make ahead sweet. Sylvia "helped" me test how they stood up to a lot of pressure once the fillings were in and I can tell you that this is not advised. A small child's hand pressed hard on the biscuit made the fillings ooze out the side. Best to sandwich them together gently.
I had thought that I would be able to take a few biscuits down to the family lunch at Geelong but I only got 10 biscuits. (Next time I will make them smaller.) Instead they stayed at home, ready to be grabbed as I ran in the door and out again to book club after my family lunch.
The table at book club was set beautifully with floral tablecloth, vintage crockery, finger sandwiches, strawberries, chocolate caramel slice, lemon tart, polenta and lemon bites, chocolates, a pot of tea and pink champagne. With some good company and occasional discussion of our book, it was a very pleasant way to while away the afternoon. Everyone seemed to like the biscuits, though they were rather large considering all the food on offer. I was amused that there were references to them looking like sliders or hamburgers.
The biscuits were indeed so so good. I really love the chocolate tahini flavour combination. These were different because the biscuits were very seedy as well as having a sesame flavour. They were nice with just chocolate ganache (as Sylvia did in a tester one) but the tahini cream took them to another level with just enough creaminess and sweetness to achieve biscuit nirvana. I love the bringing together of two different fillings and would love to experiment further.
I am sending these biscuits/cookies to Treat Petite at The Baking Explorer.
More fancy biscuits (cookies) on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chocolate and black tahini cut out biscuits (v)
Chocolate chip cookies with smoked almonds and cacao nibs (v)
Chocolate walnut thumbprint biscuits (v)
Orange and rose petal biscuits
Walnut and quince thumbprint cookies (v)
Chocolate-sesame sandwich cookies
From a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe in The Guardian via Where's the Beef
Makes 12 sandwich cookies
- 70g dark chocolate, chopped
- 25g butter
- 75ml double cream
- 80g sesame seeds
- 80g dark chocolate, chopped
- 60g plain flour
- 10g cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 70g butter, softened
- 50g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 130g mascarpone
- 40g tahini paste
- 25g icing sugar