Monday, September 17, 2012

Baking with the baby: Chocolate Avocado Biscuits

I have a little helper. Her favourite thing to cook with is eggs.  She calls them "eggy."  In her ideal world we would bake twice a day.  She is well known for her baking obsession at crèche, and they moved baking day there to accommodate her part time status.  From crèche baking she learnt the word 'turn' (applied of course only when she wants a turn and not to anyone else).  The first story that she ever told me about her day was saying her teacher's name's, 'egg' 'bowl' 'mix' 'fork.' 

In the last two weeks her vocabulary has greatly extended thanks to her new game of going to the pantry and pointing at different items, wanting to know what they are called.  Her father was quite surprised last night to hear her ask for pepper when making an omelette.

I don't know if this is a short lived obsession, or one that will continue for a long time.  At the moment I'm quite happy to indulge it, provided that we only bake every second day.  On alternate days I let her help with savoury food prep - it is her fondest wish to use the big knife.  She is very good at cutting mushrooms with a butter knife.  A month ago she was scared of the mixer - she can now turn it on.

This biscuits remind me a lot of the basic Edmonds biscuits that my Dad used to make when I was little.  I think he added Bournvita (can you still buy this stuff?) to make them semi-chocolaty.  These are a bit more decadent though.  I think that they taste best on the day that they are baked - the texture provided by the avocado is really apparent - soft and smooth.  On subsequent days the biscuits firm up, and it was this that reminded me of the Edmond's basic biscuits.  You can't taste a specific avocado taste - rather this recipe just benefits from the texture provided by the avocado.

Chocolate Avocado Biscuits (makes about 40 small biscuits)

120 grams butter
90 grams dark chocolate, chopped up (for melting, I used Whittaker's)
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large (no 7 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed avocado (normally just over one avocado, can use less if you don't have enough)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups plain flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180C.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate together.  Leave to cool (can put the bowl in a sink of cold water to hurry things along if you want).  Put both sugars in a mixer and mix with the paddle until well combined.  Add the chocolate/ butter and mix until sugar crystals have dissolved.  Add vanilla and salt.  When the mixture is cool, add the eggs and beat until well combined (if the mixture is hot when the eggs go in they will scramble and you will have a very disgusting slodge to clean).  Mix through the avocado.  Add the flour and baking powder and mix until combined, then stir through the chocolate chips.

I dropped spoonfuls onto baking paper the first time I made these, the second time I rolled them gently into a ball then pushed down with the back of a spoon.  Back for about 12-16 minutes until the top of the biscuit is dry then sit on the trays for five minutes to let the biscuit finish cooking gently.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool (if you leave them to cool on the tray they will be OK, but a lot firmer).

Once cool secretly freeze a bag for emergency afternoon teas!


  1. What a lovely story of your little one baking, and good of you to encourage her :-). And even if it were at short lived obsession it is still one that creates good habits and it is very educational (I think!).

    You should enter these biscuits in Sweet New Zealand, the blogging event for Kiwi bloggers :-), info here


  2. Baby's first story was so cute!

  3. I think you might have a baby celebrity chef on your hands there! Do you think the avocado acts a bit like peanut butter does in cookie recipes? Sounds like it. I wouldn't have thought to put avocado in baking -- thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Such lovely comments!

    @Sue - I think you are right there, probably creating a similar effect. In my case, we just had a lot of avocados. I'd like to re-work the recipe slightly and make chocolate avocado brownies for dessert.

    @Maire - she is cute and very determined. I actually have to sneak in the kitchen to prepare things if I don't want full baby involvement!

    @Alessandra - I do think cooking is important, and I'm really pleased with how much she has picked up so far! Must go and check out Sweet NZ!

  5. Love this description of your little one loving the kitchen. I have to sadly tell you Bournvita is now off the market. My aunt used to make Bournvita biscuits for me especially because they were my favourite, and after she died in 2004 it was some time (last year, I think) before I felt I could make them again. Sadly, I missed the boat - Bournvita had gone off the market.

    Have fun! Penny