21 February 2010

Chocolate and Bread

If you are wondering where I've been, the answer is sitting on the couch with Hubby watching Frasier.  Yes, that's right, we've been lazy.  I get home between 5:00 and 7:30 during the week (depending on the day), make dinner, and then sit down to relax with Hubby.  We got to the point where we would even watch TV while eating, but after waking up to dirty dishes one too many times, we nixed that idea and now eat in the kitchen so the dishes get done before we start watching TV.

But I've had this post in mind for several months now.  Recently, a lot of my extended family has joined Facebook, and it's been fun reading their status updates and learning more about who they are on a daily basis instead of just seeing them once a year if I'm lucky (and I haven't been lucky since 2000).  A few of my first cousins once removed started talking about going over to my great aunt's house for biscuits and chocolate syrup.  Well, needless to say, that caught my eye.  How could a breakfast dish that sounded so decadent and famous be so far outside of my radar?  Chocolate?  Biscuits?  I'm there!

And then Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits popped up on Lisa at Homesick Texan's blog on my birthday!  And then I saw Meeta's Monthly Mingle Theme for February: chocolate and bread.  Well, I knew what my entry would be!

So I did the only thing a sane woman in my shoes could do... I emailed my aunt and begged her for the recipe.  Apparently my great aunt serves this dish for breakfast and occasionally will even fry up some ribs to go with the biscuits and chocolate gravy.  Oh my!  

Aunt Vicki was dear enough to send me the recipe, and it's been sitting in my inbox since January 29th.  So what's taken me so long to get it posted?  Well, I had a little trouble finding cocoa, and then I found a great brownie recipe and the brownies got made first (who knew that cocoa would be on the isle with coffee and hot chocolate rather than the baking isle??).  Last weekend we were in Zuerich, so that was a no go.  But this weekend we were home and I was determined to make them!  I missed the deadline for the Monthly Mingle, but I hope you enjoy the decadence anyway!

Chocolate Gravy
1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together first five ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly.  Stir in butter and vanilla.  Serve over hot biscuits.

I realize I haven't posted my biscuit recipe on this blog, so here's that one too.  
2 c all purpose flour
1 t sugar
1 t salt
1 T baking powder
8 T butter, cubed, VERY COLD
3/4 c buttermilk, COLD
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal.

Make a well in the flour mixture and slowly add buttermilk, incorporating gently with hands or a wooden spoon.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for one minute (dough should be smooth and not too sticky, add more flour to surface if needed).

From here, I'm quoting Lisa of Homesick Texan because she describes the beating so well:
Take dough into a ball, and hit it with a rolling pin, turning it and folding it in half every few whacks. Do this for a couple of minutes.
Roll out dough until it’s 1/4 of an inch thick, and then fold it in half.
Using a round cutter (can use a glass or a cup if don’t have a biscuit cutter) cut out your biscuits from folded dough.
Place on a greased baking sheet close together (so they rise up not out), and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Makes 10-12 biscuits.

Back to me:  I don't cut my biscuits, I just form them into balls and place them on the baking pan.  I also use a nonstick pan and do not grease it.  I then let them sit on the pan for 20 minutes (while I prepare the chicken for frying) before sticking them in the oven.  I don't have a clock or timer in the kitchen so when I start smelling them, I check them every couple minutes.  Yummy biscuits.

Note since I posted this recipe on my other blog:  I now cut the biscuits, but instead of using a biscuit cutter, I use a knife.  This way, you don't have to worry about rerolling out the dough from the scraps!  I now get fabulous layers from my biscuits... Yum.

And the results?  Do I have a new favorite way to eat biscuits?  Drumroll please....

No.  I didn't like it.  I love my biscuits way too much to drown them in chocolate syrup.  The flavor from the chocolate overwhelmed my poor little biscuit :(

But the chocolate syrup itself?  Excellent!  I'll be making brownies this afternoon, buying vanilla ice cream tomorrow (stores are closed on Sundays), and making brownie sundaes tomorrow!


  1. Brownie sundaes sound yummy! I can douse pancakes with chocolate syrup but I can't see it with biscuits either. I could imagine preparing a chocolatey version cinnamon rolls. I like them with caramel so much though, I probably would only try a few to test.

  2. My favorite chocolate and bread combo is nutella on french bread (or a crepe). I agree that flaky, buttery biscuits are way too fabulous for an overpowering topping. Your pictures are making me hungry...

  3. @Tabs: I'm not a fan of chocolate syrup on pancakes either. Maybe that should have been my first hint!

    @Helen: Nutella! Did you know that there is a world nutella day? I think it was last week! I've never had it on French bread... but I love it on crepes from Athenas!

  4. Chocolate syrup is not made for a flaky, buttery biscuit. It is made for a breakfast Nanny-style biscuit. I like it when a puddle of syrup is on my plate and I drag the biscuit through the puddle. The syrup is also good drizzled over strawberries and cantaloupe!

  5. @ Aunt Vicki: I hate to say this, but I have only vague memories of Nanny's biscuits at this point. I have strong memories of the shape, watching her make them, and the overall yummyness, but I couldn't begin to tell you about the density or anything else like that. I think I like to make the flaky biscuit because, while tasty, they are NOT Nanny's biscuits. I don't think I could begin to replicate them (and while I make fried chicken on a regular basis, it's not Nanny's fried chicken! And Nanny's biscuits are fried chicken biscuits too... I remember that much).


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