Not so long ago we dropped by friends for a pre-dinner drink before heading out for a meal at a nearby restaurant. At the door we were greeted by the most delicious aroma. Home baked cheese biscuits. The perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine. Very retro. They reminded me of 1980’s dinner parties. Here’s my rendition. Short and crumbly baked cheddar and cayenne biscuits. Adapted from a recipe in Stephanie Alexander’s recipe bible, The Cook’s Companion. For good measure I made two batches. The second batch incorporated a dollop of my homemade chilli jam for a spicier but sweeter variation. Try both and see which you prefer.
Baked Cheddar Cheese and Cayenne Pepper Biscuits
Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion
For the chilli jam variation, omit 1 tablespoon cheese and add 2 teaspoons of chilli jam to the mixture.
Makes about 30 biscuits
100g unsalted butter
100g (3/4 cup) plain flour
100g mature cheddar, grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
PREHEAT oven to 180 C and line two oven trays with baking paper.
BLEND butter with flour in a food processor until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
ADD cheese, salt, cayenne and white pepper. Process until the dough forms a smooth ball.
REMOVE from the food processor and roll into a 20cm log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for several hours until firm.
SLICE thinly and place well apart on prepared baking trays.
BAKE in a hot oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.
COOL briefly on the oven tray, then cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight tin.