The church biscuit: 93. Chocolate nougat cookies


Chocolate nougat cookies (adapted from a Nigellissima recipe)

Chocolate nougat cookies (adapted from a Nigellissima recipe)

I first had a go at making these cookies a couple of weeks ago for our last Italian film evening. Isn’t it dreadful when you join a really good class doing something you’ve always wanted to do – in this case, learn Italian – and then things conspire such that it comes to an end all too soon? The film evening was a bit of an add on extra, but we could have gone on and on with it as long as at least one member of the group came up with a great film. A bottle of wine, cups of tea, chocolates, biscuits and a trial run at a wedding cake, 3 sofas and a couple of comfortable chairs, not to mention a well-angled television and a gentle, funny Italian comedy – nothing more required for an excellent evening. Sadly the Italian teacher will move back to Sheffield and the vicarage will have new occupants but our 3 jolly Italian film nights will remain roseate and glowing in that corner of the memory that is for ever a small slice of arcadia.

Chocolate nougat cookies (adapted from a Nigellissima recipe)

Chocolate nougat cookies (adapted from a Nigellissima recipe)

To get back to the cookies. For the first batch I set off following a recipe in Nigellissima (Chatto & Windu, 2012). (I apologise in advance for boring you here. )Nigella suggests chopping the soft nougat into 1-2 cm pieces (rather big?)  I did it and then, also as the recipe suggests, I tossed the nougat into the second batch of flour before adding this to cookie mix.  The nougat lumps, however, made it too difficult to incorporate the flour into the mixture, so I picked out the nougat, piece by piece, mixed in the flour and then returned the nougat to the dough. A new problem came with the  cooking as the heat over-melted the nougat pieces which then spilled out of the cookie dough and caramelised on the baking tray, hardening when cooled to toffee and looking… a mess.  Moderate sadness as expensive ingredients result in dog’s breakfast.  Nigella’s cookies look utterly perfect.

Chocolate nougat cookies: first disastrous attempt

Chocolate nougat cookies: first disastrous attempt

Liking the concept of the cookies, yesterday, I tried the recipe again with modifications. This time, for each cookie, I cut a piece of nougat c. 1 cm x 1 cm x 0.5cm (which had the benefit of using less than half the nougat Nigella did and yet when you bit into the cookies there was still a lovely lump of the delicious confection). When the dough was ready, I then pressed the pieces of nougat into the little ball of cookie dough and then brought the dough mixture up all round the nougat until it was covered. The cookies baked perfectly with just a little squidge of nougat visible on a few cookies. Here’s my version.

Chocolate nougat cookies (adapted from a Nigellissima recipe)

Chocolate nougat cookies (adapted from a Nigellissima recipe)

Makes c 25

125 g softened unsalted butter

100 g golden caster sugar

75 g soft light brown sugar

1 egg

200g Self Raising flour

30 g good quality cocoa

1/4 teap sea salt flakes (optional)

2 teasp instant coffee

c. 75 g soft nougat

icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan oven/ Gas Mark 4

Prepare a couple of baking trays by wiping them with something like Lakeland Cake Release or by lining with baking parchment.

Beat together the softened butter and both sugars until light and creamy. Add the egg and beat in well.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and coffee. Slowly add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Don’t overbeat as the mixture will get too sticky.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out a  nutmeg sized piece of the mixture and roll lightly into a ball. Into the middle of this ball gently press a piece of nougat and then bring the cookie dough up around it until  you can no longer see it. Re-shape with a gentle roll of the fingers, place on the baking sheet , flatten slightly and press lightly with a fork  or decoration. Place about 4cm apart on the baking sheets. (You could leave them to rest for 30 mins in a refrigerator which is said to help the cookie stay chewy rather than crisp – mine were quite chewy enough with out doing this).

Bake 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to  a cooling rack. If you like dust with a teaspoonful of icing sugar pressed though a fine sieve. (Yes, mine would look nicer with a little dusting.)

Excellent. A dark mocha biscuit with a soft gooey centre.

(Bright yellow hummingbird plate from Anthropologie.)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted June 24, 2016 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    I may have already commented about this, but I’m learning Italian on my own with a little app on my phone. It’s called Duolingo, and you can find it on android and iphone, and there’s a website if you’d like to use your desktop computer instead. Eventually I’m going to need a conversation type class, or maybe I will get to Italy someday instead (even better!). For now I’m pretty happy with my progress.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 24, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      How clever of you Amara to learn a language on your own. I find that I really need the external impetus of a class to get me doing any self study. And we do (did) have an excellent teacher who was very inventive in discussions. The other people were also great characters and classes were lots of fun.
      If you like, I’ll email you with details of the films we watched – their gentle humour is very enjoyable and listening to them (with subtitles,of course,) helps to get your ear attuned to some of the regional accents.

      • Posted June 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I’d love a list of films thank you!

        • Mary Addison
          Posted June 30, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

          The three Italian films we really enjoyed were:
          Pane e Tulipani
          Pranzo di Feragosto
          Benvenuti al Sud.
          All were gentle comedies and utterly delightful.
          Of course everyone loves Il Nuovo Cinema Paradiso but i haven’t seen it yet.

  2. Posted June 24, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Sometimes a bit of tweaking is required…!

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 24, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Oh yes, we’re pretty good at tweaking …

  3. Posted July 8, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    This is why Nigella drives me mad sometimes. I really wonder about her recipes when things like this happen, and wonder if there is a chinese-whispers style of recipe testing, where essential tweaks are not passed back. For experienced bakers, it is a case of realising what can be done to solve the problem, whilst retaining essential flavours and textures, but for a new or less experienced baker it could be enough to discourage them from baking, perhaps for ever. X

    • Mary Addison
      Posted July 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May is said to not be so keen on Delia as she is so meticulous with the measurements, and she finds Jamie & Ottolenghi preferable with their handful here, etc. I like them all – Delia for when time is short and you need reliability, Ottolenghi when you have more leisure. For Delia’s chocolate roulade, a crack appears as you roll it over but then you look at the recipe and she says that it’s ok that a crack will form at this point.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


  • June 2016
    M T W T F S S
    « May   Jul »
  • Photographs & Media

    Please attribute any re-uploaded images to Addison Embroidery at the Vicarage or Mary Addison and link back to this website. And please do not hot-link images!