Friday, June 23, 2006

Savoury Cheddar cheese biscuits

I started off by wanting to make some simply gorgeous looking biscuits that I stumbled across on a German blog - Teatime. Specifically, these biscuits. It's been a long time since I've tested my rusty German, but I thought that translating what seemed like a fairly simple recipe would not tax my Deutschkenntnisse (command of German) ;)

I could have been wrong, though. The recipe as such was simple as simple can be, but I'm not sure if I got the proportions quite right. Also, some cross-cultural nuances didnt quite make it through - I mean, how much exactly is "1/2 PƤckchen Backpulver"? I figured it should be about 1 tsp baking powder, so that's how much I used.

Apart from that, since I didnt have Gouda or Emmental cheese at hand, I used Mature Cheddar. And since I couldnt find my black cumin seeds anywhere (I confess I didnt look very hard), I used kalonji (nigella seeds) instead. So by the time I'd finished substituting the ingredients called for in the recipe with what I had at hand, I realised that only my desire to try out the original actually remained unchanged. Well, they say it's the thought that counts...

Anyway, as I was saying, I might have got the proportions of the oil-butter combination wrong, because my dough was alarmingly drippy by the time I'd mixed it all together. Ok, it was mostly healthy olive oil with about a tbsp of butter, but still, it seemed one heck of a lot of the stuff for the amount of dough there was. I've reduced the oil content in the following recipe by about a third.

The biscuits turned out pretty tasty, though (and why wouldnt they with so much oil to work with!). I only used about 1 tbsp of kalonji, but I'd probably increase it to 2-3 tbsp, as their flavour ended up quite mild. Then again, I used sharp mature Cheddar, which is way more overpowering than mild Emmentaler cheese. I guess experimentation is the name of the game!

Recipe for:
Savoury Cheddar cheese biscuits


1-1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp nigella seeds
1/3 cup olive oil + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
100-150 gm Cheddar cheese, grated
1 whole egg + 1 separated (add eggwhite to dough, use yolk for brushing biscuits before baking)
1 tsp baking powder
Salt to taste


1. Beat the separated eggyolk lightly and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 170C.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, nigella seeds, olive oil and butter, cheese, whole egg and the egg white along with salt to make a smooth dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes covered.

4. Roll out the dough on a clean surface (use silicone paper to make rolling out and cleaning up easy) and cut out round shapes with a biscuit cutter. Re-roll out the remaining dough and proceed the same way until the dough it used up.

5. Transfer the circles to a silicone paper-lined baking tray. The biscuits wont spread so 1/2" space between them is enough. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the beaten egg yolk.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven, or until the biscuits are golden. Let cool in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and let them cool completely.

The biscuits make a nice snack, and they can also be served with soup.


Krithika said...

Oh Shammi ! I've been wanting to make these for a long time for my kids. In fact Mine sent me a translated verion of this recipe. I am so glad you tried it.

Anonymous said...

Shammi, those look gorgeous. I want to try them right away...
Have few doubts, please clarify. What are the white pieces visible in the picture? There is no cheese mentioned in the recipe, when and how much cheese should be used?

Shammi said...

Oh my god, what an idiot I am - I completely forgot to mention the cheese in the recipe (the white bits you see!) Thanks for pointing out the omission, Shilpa - I've updated the recipe now. Very sorry about this, and thanks once again for noticing.

Unknown said...

Lovely biscuit. A wonderful combo.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

yummy! Well if you wnat to brush up on your Deutsch then better come and visit Deutschland sweetie.

These are a great alternative tothe usual sweet cookies. Like the idea.

RP said...

Wow! Those biscuits look so good. I am taking this recipe. I am badly in need of good snack recipes since it is the school vacation, and every couple of hours I am challenged with "mom, can I have a snack?" question from my daughter!
Did you use white cheddar?

Vaishali said...

Hi Shammi,
ich habe dein Kommentar an dem 'Teatime-Blog' gelesen. Du schreibst ganz gut. Du hast keinen einzigen Fehler gemacht. Und das auch nach zehn Jahren. :)
Btw, '1/2 PƤckchen Backpulver' IS roughly a teaspoon. You certainly didn't go wrong there.

Anonymous said...

Puspha, RP: Thanks! :) RP, I used the only cheese I had at hand - pre-grated mature yellow cheddar. Dunno why it looks white!

Meeta: You betcha! Even if it's only to make an Esel of myself with my spoken German (I write better than I speak.) :)

Vaishali: Vielen Dank, das ist sehr nett von Dir! Also glad I didnt go wrong with the measurement :)

archana said...

I am always looking for recipes for home made snacks. This sounds like a good one. Thank you

Ashwini said...

Forget the oil/ cant go wrong with cheese :-)
PS - I am adding your recipe to the kalonji party I have going on. Cheers

indianadoc said...

That sounds a brilliant home made snack...Happy to see a fellow blogger from Shrewsbury....We were living in Shrewsbury for quite some time...

Anonymous said...

Just saw this at Anthony's ,shammi, these cheese biscuits look delicious!