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Bon to be a winner; The much-loved Bourbon biscuit is given a makeover that makes the treat actually taste like chocolate.

Byline: JAMES MORTON

If, like me, you've never been convinced by those who claim that Bourbon biscuits are something someone might choose to dunk in their tea, you should pay attention.

I've never felt that those dry, powdery excuses for a chocolateflavoured biscuit have had any merit, other than their cheapness. They don't even contain alcohol.

This recipe was an experiment to make them good.

My initial thought was to use actual Bourbon whiskey, from Kentucky or somewhere suitable.

But that wouldn't be in the spirit of the original biscuit and it would also ruin the fabric of the dough.

No, my approach was to posh it up. The dough is simple - similar to a good old-fashioned Scottish shortbread dough, but with cocoa powder replacing some of the flour.

The filling is where I recommend you spend most of your time. A chocolate ganache buttercream is the ultimate in chocolate icings. They keep things not too rich but irresistibly chocolatey.

Who'd have thought - a Bourbon biscuit that tastes like chocolate.

This will convert sceptics and blow the minds of the mildly chocolate-flavoured biscuit fanclub.

BOURBONS Makes about 12-16 sandwich biscuits INGREDIENTS For the biscuit dough:

100g caster sugar

200g unsalted butter

280g plain flour

60g cocoa powder For the filling:

100g unsalted butter

200g icing sugar

100g dark chocolate, around 65-70 per cent cocoa

100g double cream METHOD 1 Preheat your oven to 160C/ 140C fan/Gas 2. Line a couple of baking sheets with some torn off pieces of baking paper - you can use blobs of your leftover butter to stick them down.

2 Soften butter if it's hard - a buzz in the microwave will do. Place enough for the biscuit dough in a bowl with caster sugar. Mix with wooden spoon. You want them combined, but NOT light and fluffy. You don't want to beat in any air.

flour and cocoa, and mix until you can't really mix any 3Add more with your spoon. Switch to your hands, and use them to bring everything together into a dough. Cover bowl with cling film and place in the fridge to rest for at least 10 minutes but up to a day.

4 Flour a work surface and place dough on top. Add more flour, and roll out to the thickness of a PS1 coin. Use pizza cutter to cut straight lines up and down and side to side, so you have lot of equal rectangles. Prick them with a fork, to give the characteristic Bourbon holes.

5 Transfer biscuits to their trays using a pallet knife, leaving a little space between them. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are dry to touch. Don't worry if they're still soft - they'll crisp up as they cool. If you see any darkening, remove them straight away.

6 As your biscuits cool, make the ganache. Add your cream to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Break your chocolate into a bowl and pour your hot cream on top. Gently stir until the chocolate has melted and you've got a glossy mixture.

7 Make your buttercream - take the rest of your soft butter and place in a bowl with icing sugar. Whip together using an electric mixer, until almost white in colour. Add your chocolate ganache and whisking for a few seconds more.

8 Dollop your icing in between biscuits and leave to set for at least 20 minutes. These will stay fresh for a few days at room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

They key to a chocolate biscuit that isn't too bitter is in the baking. Don't overbake - you don't want any additional colour. If in doubt, turn the oven down and give them another five minutes.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 9, 2016
Words:622
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