SUSTAINABLE CHOC CHIP CHICKPEA FLOUR COOKIES
As part of my SELF-Sustainable podcast with Selfridges, we took a look at the food industry. We discussed the latest innovations and developments within a sector that has always valued creativity, but has also been known to generate plenty of waste. I was challenged to make a sustainable chocolate chip cookie that offered a good source of appetite-satisfying protein in a world where our sources of protein are becoming contentious, and combining this with other well thought-out ingredients from sustainable and ecologically sound sources. I’m never shy to take on a challenge, so I headed to Selfridges Food Hall to seek out the latest and greatest sustainable ingredients available for this recipe. These included:
Bungay raw butter made from a happy herd of grass-fed Montbeliarde and Friesian cows. It is made by hand on the farm in the traditional way, by souring the cream using a cocktail of lactic bacteria, before churning and hand-paddling with traditional scotch “butter hands” made from wood.
Maple syrup from Canada where maple trees are tapped for their sweet sap which is then cooked and reduced to make the maple syrup we all know and love. The surplus wood that is removed (via responsible forestry to prevent overcrowding and allow stronger trees to benefit from more resources) is used to cook the syrup, making it a closed-circle industry. A well-managed forest not only supports a multitude of life with a full ecosystem as opposed to the sterile desert of a monocrop that’s harvested (e.g. sugar cane). Forests are also the best way to sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere and they do all this while occupying some of the poorest land around — hilly, rocky, thin soils — land that could never be used to grow field crops.
Cricket flour. JIMINI'S seek to introduce a new sustainable and healthy source of nutrients in our diet: edible insects. Protein-packed insects have the power to significantly reduce the environmental impact of our western diet.
Tony's Chocolonely exist to end slavery in the chocolate industry. The brand’s mission is to not only highlight that slavery is very much involved in the production process for chocolate brands that you know and love, but also to make 100% slave-free the norm in chocolate.
The joy of a cookie is its simplicity: just a few ingredients combine to make something utterly delicious. One equally big pull is the nostalgia that comes from getting in the kitchen (at least for me!), digging out the mixing bowl and baking up a batch of something you know everyone will love and which makes your home smell divine.
180g/2 cups chickpea flour (or 1⅓ cup chickpea flour and ⅔ cup cricket flour)
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g/6 tbsp butter (or ghee/coconut oil)
¾ cup maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
90g dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Toast the chickpea flour for 15 minutes in a dry heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat, stirring frequently to ensure even toasting and to keep the flour from burning. At the end of this process the flour should be fragrant and a few shades darker.
Remove from the heat and empty into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the baking powder and salt until evenly distributed, then add the butter, roughly mixing it in so that it starts to melt in the heat.
When the chickpea flour mixture is cool enough to handle, use your hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the chickpea flour, then mix in the maple syrup and vanilla extract until a dough starts to form.
Taste the dough and add a little more sweetness if need be.
Divide into walnut-sized chunks and roll into approximately 9 balls.
Place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet and press down so that the cookies are about 1 centimetre in thickness.
Using a sharp knife, chop the chocolate into small chunks. Distribute between the cookies and press in firmly.
Bake the cookies 15 minutes or until lightly toasted on the edges. They will still be soft at this point but will harden as they cool.
Let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
They are best enjoyed fresh. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.