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Chocolate & Macadamia Nut Rusks

The simplicity of the method for these outstanding rusks is most appealing.

1 kg self-raising flour
100 g / 125 ml sugar
5 ml salt
100 g/175 ml chocolate chips OR 1 x 100 g slab of chocolate, coarsely chopped
100 g macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs
750 ml cream
± 250 ml additional buttermilk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease 2 loaf tins (26 cm) generously with butter. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  2. Beat together the eggs and 750 ml cream and reserve 30 ml to glaze the rusks.
  3. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and mix lightly while adding enough of the remaining cream or buttermilk to form a dough which is just comfortable to handle –  neither firm nor soft.
  4. Turn out the dough on a floured surface and knead lightly for a few minutes until smooth.  Pinch off golf-ball size portions, roll into slightly elongated shapes and pack in neat rows, just touching comfortably into the greased tins.
  5. Mix the reserved egg and cream with a little extra water and brush over the tops of the rusks to glaze.
  6. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm and a metal skewer comes out clean if inserted into the centre of the baked loaf.
  7. Cool in the tins for a few minutes and turn out carefully onto a cooling rack.  Turn over and cool at least 2 hours before separating into rusks with the tongs of a fork – for a natural appearance.
  8. Pack loosely on baking trays and dry out in the oven at 60 °C for 5to 6 hours with a spoon positioned in such a way that the door remains slightly open while drying to allow moisture to escape. When quite dry, cool and pack in airtight containers to store for up to a month.

Makes about 100 average rusks.

Note Turn down the heat slightly if the top browns too much or too soon and cover loosely with aluminium foil.

Variations 

Plain rusks
Omit nuts and chocolate, use 200 g / 250 ml sugar and add 10 ml aniseed if preferred.

Seeded Rusks
Omit chocolate and nuts, use 200g / 250 ml sugar and add ± 250 ml combined  seeds (sesame, poppy, sunflower and linseeds) to the dry ingredients.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.