Mar 29, 2012

Parmesan, pepper and chilli savoury biscuits

Have you ever tasted something expecting it to taste one way, but having it taste completely different to what you thought it would be like?

A couple of years back, I was at a Christmas drinks party of a friend who happens to be a fabulous cook. She is especially talented when it comes to creating food for entertaining. When you are at one of her parties, you can expect really beautiful and elegant food. I look forward to her functions every time as I am always pleasantly surprised by what she chooses to serve up.

This particular Christmas party was a cocktail party and my friend had prepared a buffet style menu. When I think of a buffet I think of paper plates loaded with ham and pasta salad, usually at a big family function. This was not that kind of buffet. My friend had prepared a feast for not only our stomachs but our eyes as well! The buffet table was a double tier table that had an upper and a lower table surface. And this was filled with the most incredible looking food. The bottom tier had all sorts of beautifully presented food; from seafood to delicate finger foods, you name it and it was all there. The top tier though was dedicated to dessert; panna cotta, trifle, cakes, biscuits, fruit and different cheeses.

Having feasted on some lovely food that evening, I turned my attention to something sweet. I zoned in on a platter of delicious looking biscuits and decided to try one. I was expecting a decadent, crispy and most of all sweet biscuit. This is not what I got. What I tasted instead, was decadent, crispy but very much a savoury flavour. The biscuit packed a punch with a definite hit of parmesan and an ever so slight chilli heat. It was absolutely delicious! I have always held on to this memory, mostly because I was expecting to taste one thing but instead got a pleasant surprise that only comes with the unexpected.

These biscuits are inspired by my friend's biscuits from that night. They make a really lovely addition to a cheese and fruit platter.

Savoury parmesan, chilli and pepper biscuits
Makes about 15

75g plain flour
65g parmesan cheese, grated
65g butter, chopped
1 tsp salt flakes
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ - 1tsp dried chilli flakes
2 Tbs cold water

1.Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until a dough comes together.
2.Place a sheet of baking paper (approx 20cm in length) on a bench surface.
3.Roll the dough into a log with a 4-5cm diameter. Roll in the baking paper twisting the ends to secure. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
5.Remove the dough from the freezer. Slice into ½ cm slices and place on the baking tray.
6.Bake the biscuits for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

I love the idea of these biscuits. I think they would be a very welcome addition on any cheese platter.

yummychunklet said...

Ooh, savory biscuits. These look great!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Your friend sounds amazing! And I think I've bought biscuits that are similar to these and always wanted to make them. I think I might have to give this recipe a go! :D

Hotly Spiced said...

Don't you just love going to dinner parties where you know you're going to be in for an absolute treat! These biscuits are so perfectly round and flat and like you say, I'm sure they would be excellent served on a cheese platter xx

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Anna, I love that flavour of the unexpected. The biscuits look wonderful and simple to put together. I´m making these to accompany my husband´s cheese addiction.

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

oh crikey I would have loved eating at your friends house!... or yours for these crackers :-)

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

oh crikey I would have loved eating at your friends house!... or yours for these crackers :-)

marthameetslucy said...

I can't wait to make these and eat them with a glass of wine. Sounds like heaven.

erin @ yummy supper said...

Anna, these look great! And I liked the story of your surprised bite:)
I bet you could even make the dough in advance and keep a roll in the freezer. Wouldn't that make for a nice easy appetizer.

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

Anna, these cookies look fantastic, and would be wonderful to enjoy with a glass of wine on a Friday to celebrate the start of the weekend. I love tasting something and getting a wonderfully pleasant surprise, just as you had with these.

tania@mykitchenstories said...

These look great, I love savoury shortbread and the chilli would be perfect to cut the richness

JasmyneTea said...

YUM, I'm making these asap!
(I made your caramelised carrots last week, they were SO good!)

Anna Reid said...

JasmyneTea, hope you enjoy them and glad the carrots turned out and you enjoyed them :)

The Hungry Navigatrix said...

I love a cheesy biscuit. These look a little bit perfect - well done.

Eileen said...

These sound wonderful! I like the freezer aspect--the dough would be super easy to keep around for emergency baking attacks. Probably a great way to use up the end of the parmesan chunk at the back of the fridge too. :)

Asmita said...

Wow, that sounds like a wonderful party you went to. I love seeing beautiful table settings and elegant food served.
These biscuits look and sound so delicious. Perfect with cocktails.

Anonymous said...

These look superb, love the flavour combo and yes, I've tried many things that tasted different to what I'd expected. Sweetened iced latte must be the worst - I never have sugar in my coffee!

Hillé said...

I absolutely love biscuits with Parmesan and chili flakes in them. When I made this recipe, I felt the need to add an egg, as blitzing the ingredients from the recipe together resulted in something that looked like breadcrumbs, way to dry to be considered a biscuit dough.