Monday, 22 October 2012

WSC Chocolate Pumpkin Digestives

When I first tasted digestives in my 20s I recognised their similarity to Westons Chocolate Wheatens that I loved as a child.  During my travels around the UK and Europe, I often had a packet of McVities chocolate digestives in my bag.  Eating them straight out the packet, backpacker-style was one of the pleasures of life on the road.  Now I love them both for the taste and for the memories of that time.  I am happy to say that I found my homemade version just as pleasing!

The idea of trying to make my own digestive biscuits came from Kari of Bite Sized Thoughts who posted a recipe for fruit digestives last week.  Then I saw a recipe for pumpkin graham crackers on What Smells So Good while idly searching for pumpkin and chocolate recipes for We Should Cocoa (the event founded by Choclette and Chele but currently hosted by Hungry Hinny).  I recently read that graham crackers are America's answer to Britain's digestives. So it seemed easy to adapt the pumpkin idea to digestives.

We baked the biscuits yesterday before heading out to lunch.  I had been slightly concerned that the dough was not oiled enough but it wasn't too difficult to handle.  (Wee rascally fingers that were prodding and poking were more of a problem.)  When we got home, we drizzled chocolate over them.  Kari had not thought her texture was quite right.  I added some wheatgerm and loved the rough texture.  And though some were slightly soft in the middle, most were pleasingly crisp. 

I also found a Daily Mail recipe for Chocolate Digestives.  The photo showe biscuits that were drizzled ever so prettily with chocolate.  I initially set out to do that.  My attempts were just too clumsy.  Finally I found it easier to spread the chocolate on one side, just like the McVities biscuits that I love so much.  Sylvia decided she wanted sprinkles on hers.  I melted 120g of chocolate (72% cocoa) and it was far too much.  So we made square freckles by spreading the remainder of the chocolate on baking paper and sprinkling with hundreds and thousands.

My main problem with the recipe is that it uses so little pumpkin puree.  It was fine when I still have the remains of a tin of pumpkin the fridge but I usually do my pumpkin mash from fresh pumpkin.  I think other purees might work here like applesauce or prune puree.  The pumpkin taste isn't very prominent but it gave some colour and a little added flavour.  I think the recipe would work just as well without the chocolate.

I can't speak highly enough of these biscuits.  They are just sweet enough, taste a wee bit healthy and the dark chocolate stops them being too moreish.  I didn't get a proper count of the batch because at least one disappeared under the table before I got a chance to spread with chocolate.  (It wasn't me.  I swear!)  Tonight as I rode home, it made me happy to think of the biscuit tin of chocolate pumpkin digestives in the kitchen.  It is what every home needs.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Vegan pad see ew - with tofu omelette
Two years ago: Pea pate - sandwiches
Three years ago: Pumpkin bread pudding for interesting times
Four years ago: WTSIM: of cats, ukeleles and enchiladas

Chocolate Pumpkin Digestives
Adapted from Bite Sized Thoughts, The Daily Mail and What Smells So Good
Made about 20

3/4 cup wholemeal flour
1/4 cup wheatgerm
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp golden syrup (or other sweetener)
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
100g dark chocolate, chopped

Mix wholemeal flour, wheatgerm, baking powder, bicarb and brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir in oil, golden syrup and pumpkin puree until the mixture comes together into a dough.  Briefly knead with a little flour.

Roll out on baking paper until about 0.5cm thick.  Cut into circles (or squares or other shapes if you prefer).  Transfer to two lined baking trays with about 1-2cm between each biscuit (they don't spread much). Bake at 190 C for about 14-16 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on the tray.

When biscuits are cooled, leave on the baking paper for covering in chocolate (to make it easier to clear up).  Melt chocolate (I did this in the microwave).  Use a teaspoon to either drizzle chocolate artistically or just use the back of the spoon to spread chocolate over one side.  (I found the latter easier.)  Let set for an hour or two.  Keep in an airtight container.

On the Stereo:
The Very Best of Peter Allen: 18 superb original tracks.

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food October 2012.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more of my Vegan MoFo posts. 

25 comments:

  1. These look fantastic - I've always imagined that digestives would be too tricky to make yourself but the recipe sounds fairly straight foward!

    It is annoying when a recipe calls for a small amount of something you can only buy in bulk, although after making 2 things with my pumpkin I would have had just left for these!

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    1. Thanks Hungry Hinny - I was surprised how easy they were - probably not quite as thin and crisp but close enough for jazz.

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  2. this looks yummy beyond words.

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  3. They look great, how wonderful that you have a home made version you are happy with! I'll admire these from afar as I'm not really a fan of these types of biscuits.

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    1. Thanks Mel - I think I am starting to love these biscuits more - esp when home made

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  4. Delicious looking biscuits. I'm not sure that the dark chocolate would stop them being moreish for me. You've reminded me of happy times eating diggies from the packet - somehow it's what you do at some odd points of your life.

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    1. Thanks Phil - I used to find chocolate digestives with milk chocolate more addictive than dark chocolate ones - but who can resist one from the packet!

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  5. These appeal to me too! I wonder if I can remember to keep aside 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree next time I'm using it for something else.

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    1. Thanks Cindy - I'll need to keep aside some pumpkin too - maybe I need to start freezing a little for when the urge hits

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  6. Oh, I absolutely have to make these! They look wonderful and I am so thrilled you solved the texture problem for me - wheatgerm is clearly the winning ingredient. (Incidentally, I wonder if that is what McVities mean by 'wholemeal' or if they have a different ingredient? Such mysteries.)

    Thank you for the shout out and Mr B will be beyond thrilled when I tell him we'll be getting a chocolate version soon...

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    1. Thanks Kari - I think wheatgerm helped - I think it made the mixture a bit drier than yours - let me know how you go if you try them (though I didn't compare mine to bought digestives like you - probably wouldn't have been an exact match still)

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  7. I love how you pumpkin-ified these cookies! Somehow that always seems like the right thing to do. :)

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    1. Thanks Joanne - everything tastes better with pumpkin! Right?

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  8. We made these this arvo and love them! I used apple sauce and treacle for sweetener because that's all we had. I am thrilled my Sylvia likes something with wheatgerm in it :) thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Thanks Kate - glad your Sylvia enjoyed them - mine loved them too - applesauce and treacle sound excellent

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  9. LOVE this. Hope to feature in a round up on my site today :)

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    1. Thanks Adrienne - saw you had included them - most pleased to see them in great company of other recipes

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  10. Great idea ... must admit I really miss choc wheatens!

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    1. Thanks Chele - I can't remember the last time I bought them despite loving them - and on the web I saw they are now Arnotts not Westons - that is just not right!

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  11. These biccies look delicious. I always liked the good ol' chocolate wheaten.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - highly recommend them to you if you love chocolate wheatens

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  12. My house definitely needs a tin of chocolate pumpkin digestives in it. What a wondrous recipe Johanna. I like the colour it gives and it just sounds so exotic. I always think of digestives as being not so bad for you as far as biscuits go and they have to be even better with pumpkin in. I really like your drizzled versions, thought the covered ones look more authentic. Lovely photograph of little hands helping cut the dough out. Thanks for coming up with such a great recipe for WSC.

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  13. Love what you did with the recipe, glad you found some use from it!

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  14. In love with those cookies!
    I would love to have you share this (or any other recipes of yours) at Wednesday Extravaganza - my Foodie link party, and maybe win a lifetime feature on my Wall of Fame! Here is the link:
    http://www.hungrylittlegirl.com/1/post/2012/10/october-31st-2012.html

    I can't wait to see you there!

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