A while ago I was having some lunch in a restaurant. For pudding I had some soft, sugar covered dough sticks which were to be dipped in a well known hazelnut chocolate spread. At some point in the kitchen a rogue bit of rosemary had ended up on my dough stick. I imagine there must have been some sort of herb-off going on in the kitchen between the chefs and the remnants of the duel had not been cleared up. Unbeknown to me I submerged it in hazelnutty chocolate and ate it. One of the best accidental mastications I've ever made and a combination I have recreated in this shortbread.
You will need (for 12 pieces):
170g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
50g caster sugar
150g butter, softened
35g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
Start by chopping the hazelnuts and frying them in a dry pan until lightly toasted. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Chop the chocolate and hazelnuts finely to ensure even distribution in the finished biscuit. Put all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and beat together until they start to form a ball. It will look like a bowl of hopeless crumbs but keep going; it will make a lump eventually. Get your hands in the mix to bring all the mix into one ball. Lightly knead the dough.
Place the dough in the middle of the prepared baking sheet and then roll it out until it is about 20cm in diameter Pinch, crimp or fork the edges of the dough to give it a nice edge. Prick the top with a fork and bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 40-45 minutes or until firm. Mark into wedges while still hot.
I used dried rosemary for this recipe for a more intense flavour and it certainly delivered. If it sounds like an odd combination, give it a try. The chocolate is smooth and mellow and the hazelnuts add a classic flavour but the herby, slightly floral rosemary flavour rounds the biscuit off perfectly. A happy mistake which led to some delicious, crunchy biscuits being enjoyed with a glass of milk and a flick through an old book. I don't know of anyone over the age of about 10 that still drinks milk, is it just me?