recipe

Credit: EARL CARTER

Young at heart

Who said food at a child’s party has to be only for the kids? Why is it not socially acceptable for adults to enjoy the occasional frog-in-a-pond, too?

For adults and children alike, jelly is a somewhat forgotten food. The convenience and texture of packet jelly is usually its only redeeming feature.

This jelly recipe is fresh and vibrant and will hopefully renew one’s faith in the party jelly.

Not just for the kids, these chocolate biscuits are also a favourite snack in our house. Unlike recipes catering for the American palate, which are often sweeter than ours, these biscuits provide the hit of sugar and cocoa without the gum-tingling sensation of too much sugar. There is an unusual amount of salt in this recipe. As we know, salt enhances and brings out the flavour of certain foods and flavours, and chocolate is no exception. 

Salt in this case, as with many desserts, also balances bitterness and sweetness.

I am aware that salt does need to be regulated in today’s diet. But the highlight of this particular recipe is its curious addition. Reduce it if you must.

The texture can also be easily adjusted. From chewy to super-crunchy, your individual preference is just a few minutes difference in the cooking time. Subtract a few minutes off the cooking time for a chewier funk.

Chocolate and sea salt biscuits

Makes 12-14 large biscuits

– 230g butter, at room temperature

– 1¼ cups brown sugar

– 4½ tbsp castor sugar

– 1⅔ cups plain flour

– 1 tsp sea salt flakes 

– ½ cup cocoa

– 1½ tsp bicarb soda

– 230g chocolate chips

In a mixer, cream the butter and sugars.

Add the flour, cocoa and bicarb soda and mix gently until combined. By hand, stir chocolate chips into the biscuit dough with the sea salt. 

Roll the dough into two logs about five centimetres in diameter. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge until firm.

When you wish to cook the biscuits, cut the logs into two-centimetre-thick slices, and place them on trays lined with baking paper. Allow ample space between the biscuits for spreading.

Bake at 180ºC in a preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until just firm to the touch.

Homemade raspberry jelly

Makes enough jelly for a pack of about 10 kids. For a more adult version, replace the water in the recipe with champagne.

– 500g frozen raspberries

– 500ml water

– 400g sugar 

– 200ml blood orange juice 

– 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded

– zest of 1 lemon

– 12 leaves of gold-strength gelatine

Place everything except the gelatine into a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, pushing down on the solids to extract as much juice as possible.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until they have softened. Dissolve the soft gelatine into the hot jelly liquid and pour it into desired mould or cups. Chill in the fridge until set.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Sep 13, 2014 as "Young at heart". Subscribe here.

Andrew McConnell
is the executive chef and co-owner of Cutler & Co and Cumulus Inc.