When I was just a kid my family moved from Australia to Singapore, and despite being back in Australia for well over ten years I still think of that wonderful country as home. One of the many things I adored about Singapore was the incredible diverse food we had access to – everything from the local hawker centre Roti Prata to fine English High Tea at the Raffles Hotel, we had it all.
One of the fondest memories I have of food in Singapore was with my dad at a local Thai restaurant in Holland Village. Through his work my father had travelled a fair bit around Asia and was somewhat known to try any weird combination of food set before him (This had included everything from camel to salt water crocodiles) so he was reasonably well versed in authentic Asian dishes. I should probably also mention that it was a common belief in Singapore that Westerners were not able to handle their chilli like the locals could.
This particular restaurant had a dish on their menu called the Thai Jungle Curry which used large amounts of birds eye chillies to give the curry a super-sized kick. My dad on this particular night decided to order it, much to our waiters surprise. He immediately shook his head and told us that dad wouldn’t like the curry because it was far too spicy. However, my dad insisted he was up for the challenge, he liked it hot.
Our waiter set our food down and retreated a short distance, watching eagerly with his co-workers as dad began to dig into his curry. Well dad ate the lot and did so without a fuss. Our waiter was shocked, and returned several seconds with the manager. He informed us that dad was the first Westerner he had ever seen finish the curry without crying, and proceeded to proclaim dad the ‘King of the Jungle Curry’ and give us a discount on the meal. To this day it remains as one of my father’s proudest moments.
While I myself am not quite a ‘Jungle Curry’ kind of girl, Singapore did leave me with an appreciation for chilli. So when I was searching for something to cook yesterday I decided to blend two of my old favourites, chilli and chocolate, in a delicious cookie that will leave you wanting more! And don’t worry if you aren’t a chilli lover these cookies aren’t too overpowering, the chilli just gives them warmth and a little bite and the chocolate cookie itself is just divine!
Choc Chilli Cookies
Yields 20 cookies
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 cup self raising flour (I used wholemeal self raising but plain self raising works as well)
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp ground chillies
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (to sprinkle on top)
- Preheat oven to 180° c (350° fahrenheit) and place baking paper over 2 trays
- Beat butter with sugars until light and fluffy
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined
- Sift flour and cocoa and add the ground chilli
- Mix in the chocolate chips
- Scoop up the mixture with a dessert spoon and roll into a ball, place on the tray and flatten them slightly (make sure there is enough space between the cookies to allow for them to rise)
- Place trays in oven and cook for 10 minutes
- Allow to cool completely on tray
- Eat and enjoy these delicious cookies