Simon Rimmer’s Mint Chocolate Biscuits

Zeb Bakes Simon Rimmer Mint Chocolate Biscuits

I have been away, I hope you didn’t miss me too much, and as I am probably one of the more disorganized bloggers around I don’t have a secret supply of posts that I write in advance, no ‘here is one I prepared earlier’ in this house.

But last night I returned to find one, just one, of these over-the-top cookies left in the tin that I left for My True Love to console himself with while I was away. So I thought you might like to hear about them.

I made these Mint Chocolate Biscuits last week from a Simon Rimmer recipe on the BBC Food Site that EM told me about as I was thrashing around trying to figure out how to tackle this one –  for which my profuse thanks as always!

My brief was to produce a chocolate biscuit with a layer of squidgy minty stuff in it, covered, ideally completely in DARK chocolate.  MTL was not amused as he reported that the only ones he could find in the shops were milk chocolate and that would not do. He referred to a biscuit called a Yo-Yo in a green packet and said they were no more and he was sad and lonely without them.

So I played for time a little and asked for help and EM shot me a link to this recipe.

It called for mascarpone which is not a store cupboard ingredient here and so I remarked to MTL, ‘If you get me the cheese, I will make them for you’ thinking it might not happen then. But I didn’t gain much time, he flew out the door and was back like a shot, first with cottage cheese and Philadelphia and then after a second expedition with the mascarpone.

I had the required vast quantities of choc chips and chocolate and so I made this rather elaborate cookie mix and a lot of mess.

My thoughts on making Simon Rimmer’s Mint Chocolate Biscuits are as follows.

  • Firstly they are delicious – got that out of the way, but always a good idea to start at the top!
  • When a chef says something takes 30 minutes to make, he is stretching the truth for the average home baker.
  • This recipe makes a huge number of cookies, enough to feed a rounders team quite happily together with lashings of ginger beer.
  • The mixture spreads, easily doubling or tripling in size. Make them smaller than a tbspn’s worth of mix or allow more space between them than it says in the recipe.
  • As always, it is quite hard to judge when they are baked, particularly given the variability in size. I will have another go and see if I can maybe weigh the blobs of mixture and then get a more fixed idea of the time.

Zeb Bakes Simon Rimmer Mint Chocolate Biscuits

  • The mascarpone layer works really well and the cookies themselves were soft not biscuity but as the key thing was to get the mint and dark chocolate thing going for MTL and I succeeded there. We just aren’t that fussy.
  • However, enrobing cookies smeared with a layer of soft green cheese in hot chocolate was a messy business and I ran out of chocolate fairly soon as the cookies were very greedy in that regard. So I only managed to dip about a third of them in the amount given in the recipe.  It’s not that easy!
  • If the chocolate is too hot, it starts to melt the cheese layer and it breaks through the chocolate or discolours it. (MTL ate  those  first so I don’t have a pic to show you), when it cools it’s too thick and so on, plus handling them was fairly tricky even with a pair of tongs.

But hey ho, this is home baking and I am not a patissier and he was happy with what he got and that is what it’s all about! I had a google just now to see if I could find you a picture of the old Yo-Yo biscuit and found all sorts of wonderful glamorous photos which put mine to shame but this is what I managed first time round, and if I am asked nicely I might have another go…

Had I seen it being made on TV when the original show went out,  I would maybe have had more insight into the size of the biscuits and the ratio/proportion of topping to biscuit that needed to be used.

A couple of step by step photos would have been lovely but I always want those. I can understand that there are cost constraints in print but on the internet it is so easy to add extra photos to a post that I wish the BBC site would use more of them and similarly maybe The Guardian could add some extra photos to the online version of their cooking recipes too. That would really add value. I have recently subscribed to the Guardian app but I don’t really see what I get from it that I don’t get from the free version. I will give it a month and see. If it had different photos and more detail for recipes, say, then I would love it more.

Zeb Bakes Simon Rimmer Mint Chocolate Biscuits

This biscuit fortuitously involves green and chocolate so I am going to offer it to Choclette  and Chele for their monthly Weshouldcocoa round up which I always read but rarely get round to doing. PS the Valrhona chocolate that you can get in big bars in Waitrose is what I used to enrobe these biscuits.

PPS

Ahem!  I have just realised something – oh this is so embarrassing – I am not sure I should say it – OK I will – I have just realised why the commercial biscuit is called a Yo Yo. It’s because it is a) round b) in two parts and looks like a … Yo Yo. A round Bourbon biscuit in other words. That makes sense doesn’t it? I just thought it was a name, that’s all.  It takes me a long time to ‘get’ things like this. I suppose Wagonwheels are something similar…  (see my comment to Mel below)

35 thoughts on “Simon Rimmer’s Mint Chocolate Biscuits

  1. teawithhazel

    i’m not a mint fan but they do look fabulous..ytl is a very lucky chap..x

  2. Choclette

    Jo what a lovely thing to do for MTL – I jolly well hope you are his true love too! This looks like the sort of fiddly job I hate so I am extra wowed by what you have done. They look lovely and I bet they were delicious. I used to love Yo-Yos, but find them a bit too sweet for me now. I have seen them very recently in the shops, so they do still do them – it was either the co-op or Lidl or both! Anyway, yours will be so much better, especially coated with Valhrona.

    Thanks for playing WSC – have you added it to Chele’s widget thing at the bottom of the post? She’s trialing that as a method of entry this month.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think he could find milk chocolate ones but not dark chocolate, anyway the deed was done and now I am condemned to make them again I suspect. Very fiddly and very messy, the tongs sink into the topping and leave a dent which you then have to fill in, if you look at the top pic you can see it quite clearly. Probably a pro would have a special enrobing dribbler thing. I tried holding the biscuit by its edges between thumb and finger, which works for one, but then you are covered in chocolate again… ;) What a laugh!

  3. Abby

    Well, I’ve definitely missed your posts and am so glad you’re back! :) These cookies would be a hit around here with those flavors…they sound delicious and isn’t it nice that our TLs are happy to eat any that look less than perfect? ;)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Abby! Writing this up I definitely felt an urge to make them again under less time pressure this time – sometimes I think blogging creates a false view of what we all get up to in our kitchens, and that it is all pristine loveliness, mine is only pristine when I’m not here ;)

  4. Melanie

    These sound and look wonderful!! How sweet of you to make all those cookies for him. I’m looking forward to the detailed, step-by-step with process photos post in the future :) I’ve never had a Yo-yo before, but I think I would prefer a dark chocolate one too. Did you have left-over mascarpone? I don’t usually buy the stuff, because I don’t know what to do w/ the remainder. Dipping cookies is definitely a tricky, delicate process unless you find a clever way of doing it. I imagine maybe a machine dips the packaged ones and it doesn’t mind getting messy.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am sure that it is possible to dip them without tong marks, but these spread out to about 110 ml across and they were way too big for me to handle comfortably. The Yo-yo was like a sandwich biscuit with the soft layer in between, so maybe that is the answer to stick two smaller ones together with a layer of filling and then dip the whole thing. I think that might be the way (lightbulb moment!) Mel, what do you reckon?

      1. Melanie

        Eureka!! maybe that’s it. You’d just have to pair up similar sized cookies, maybe hold them with chopsticks, tweezers, or some similar tool from the garage while dippin’ I’ll order 3 dozen or so from the next batch you make:)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I was thinking I could leave out the green bit and just make the cookies and swirl some melted chocolate on the top, I reckon I might do that, or just dip a symbolic few another time ;)

  5. Suelle

    I’m not a great fan of mint and chocolate in baking, but these do look tempting! I hope you found a use for all the extra cheese!;)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think it would be perfectly acceptable to use another combination of flavours, ginger maybe or vanilla.

      Gosh I am not sure what happened to all the cheese, but Philly keeps a while, it’s probably still in the fridge, I’ll check tomorrow :)

  6. drfugawe

    Over here, the Girl Scouts have a cookie they call, ‘Thin Mints’, which is a shortbread covered in dark choc – I’m a sucker for a little girl selling cookies, and I never get anything else but Thin Mints. I would NEVER try to make them, or your cookie either, because melted choc and I don’t mix! I fear I may go to my grave not knowing how one successfully melts choc. Congrats on your ability and skill.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thin Mints eh? That sounds more like my sort of biscuit. Melted chocolate and me are a messy combination at the best of times, but I refuse to be afraid of it. I tend to plonk it in the microwave for 30 second bursts till it is almost melted and then beat it up a bit. Temper, temper !

  7. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    When I saw the title of your post, I wondered if you were a fan of the old Ellery Queen tv series as I was, as Simon Rimmer was a character on the show played by John Hillerman. Then I checked and it was Simon BRimmer, which is a shame, as I quite liked the idea of John Hillerman settling down to a plate of these after being bested by Ellery. :)

    I also grew up with an obsession for Mint Slices, which sound very like the bikkies you’ve made here, and I agree completely with B that it has to be dark chocolate, as milk is so clearly wrong. I think your homemade version look absolutely mouthwatering, and you’ve done a wonderful job dipping them – as you say, it’s hard to dip a soft topping into chocolate without it melting!

    I’m very glad you’re back.. xxx

    1. Joanna Post author

      I don’t think I have come across that one, but we definitely need more cookie placement in our TV shows. There were danish pastries in Borgen and the foodies on Twitter got quite trembly with excitement when they clocked them.

      I agree with both you and B on the milk/dark/mint thing, though he does have a passion for mint in all its forms that surpasses mine. Mint sauce is one of his favourites, and of course the mint green custard, which I find a touch perverse but it is not called for very often. I’m pleased to be back too :)

        1. Joanna Post author

          Hee hee, it’s the mint that he likes! But I am not keen on bright red food, that red velvet cake look does nothing for me. I asked B if he had an aversion to red, and he replied that red cars were not a good thing because you can’t see them in poor light and therefore they are more liable to be involved in accidents. He said he likes red as a colour though.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Kari! I am sorry you had trouble commenting. My blog ‘recognises’ emails it’s seen before leaving comments but sticks new ones in moderation till I see them and I think there have been some changes at wordpress central with comment leaving if you have a wordpress username or something. There is a bit on Celia’s blog about it.

      I’d better do some baking today, no bread in the freezer and I was thinking about a batch of Hot Cross Buns :)

  8. Jan

    I feel like a dog sitting and staring steadfastly up, not begging, you see, just staring intently, with a tell tale dribble. I wouldn’t care which way up these were covered in their luscious chocolate layer! Would it be any easier to slather them in the chocolate if they had been seriously chilled in the freezer – but then I would be torn betwen staring at the freezer door and staring at the melted chocolate pot!!

    1. Joanna Post author

      great minds think alike Jan re the chilled biscuit option, but then I remembered all my bad attempts at covering icecream with chocolate sauce, having said that I was reading on Abby ‘s blog about something you do with coconut oil to make a coc coating for icecream. But my forays into cooking with chocolate are not that frequent, I like the idea of doing it, more than the reality – does that make any sense at all? Xx

  9. The Wild Wood

    Welcome back. Don’t they look divine! just has to be dark chocolate with mint.
    Do you have a dipping fork for chocolate? the larger one with the three tines should work.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Aw, thanks! I have never heard of a dipping fork, I am a very intermiitent user of chocolate, but will go and investigate further. thanks for the tip Elaine :)

  10. bakecakecrumbs

    Love the look of those. I do have a special place in my heart for mint chocolates – I always wish that people would buy me mint selection boxes rather than normal ones because then I’d be able to eat them all (mint doesn’t often seem to be paired with nuts). How greedy! Dark chocolate always trumps milk in my books, I was pleased to see dark chocolate kitkats – now they just need to make the mint ones dark too! Love Fry’s mint chocolate fondant bars, haven’t had one for too long now. As ever you’ve set me off craving :-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I once made myself very ill on Mr Fry’s mint chocolate bars, when I was about nine and the sweetshop had them on an offer, so long ago it was in old money, so I have a love hate relationship with the dark choc mint thing myself, but you and B are kindred spirits and I can’t remember seeing them paired with nuts either :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      The nice thing about using dark chocolate and the layer of mascarpone is that overall these don’t come out too sweet, I think I would make them again for a treat for him indoors as he did like them, but not for a while :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Emily, they are but a memory now – we’ve moved on to Hot Cross Buns today, batch 2 about to be shaped!

  11. Chele

    I totally get the wagon wheel likeness! Genius entry into this month’s challenge. Thanks for baking along with us ;0)

    1. Joanna Post author

      They were huge Chele! Really chunky things – I don’t know how ‘he’ got through them all so quickly either, but it was a fun, if messy challenge ;)

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