This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Not only does Talking to Addison make Kirsty, editor in chief of Novelicious, laugh out loud, it is also her go-to book for comfort. She has more than one copy in different parts of the house – ready to be picked up in an emergency. So, I thought it was about time I featured Talking to Addison by Jenny Colgan in this Feasting column. It is my gift to Kirsty, if you like.
This, the second novel by Jenny Colgan, is about Holly. She's a florist, working nights at the market, and her life isn't going quite as well as she'd like. She goes from one house-share hell to another, until, finally, she asks her friend, Josh from university, if she can come and live in his tiny box room. She moves in with him, Kate and a recluse called Addison – a man who spends all his time on his computer, day and night.
Holly hasn't met him. But feels it strange to share a house, and a bathroom, with a man she has yet to meet. So one day she introduces herself. The circumstances were odd, but by God was he gorgeous. Stunning actually.
Next time, after arriving back from work in the early hours of the morning, she decides to make him a cup of tea. She adds three sugars because Addison doesn't eat properly, as he's on his computer a lot. Then Holly searches around for a biscuit. All she can find is one of Kate's Penguin bars. So she adds that, too.It could be my age but I am positive Penguins have reduced in size over the years. I was determined to have a go at making some myself, of a decent size, and my goodness they were good. While making them at home not as easy as p-p-p-p-picking one up from the supermarket, they are well worth it. Especially as the outer coating of chocolate was extra thick.
Electric mixer, like a KitchenAid (it just makes it so much easier and quicker), large food bag, rolling pin, a rectangle shaped cookie cutter (though you can, of course, make them any shape you like), baking tray covered in baking parchment, fish slice (or similar), baking rack.
For the biscuit:
200g caster sugar
325g plain flour
For the buttercream:
100g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
2 dessert spoons cocoa
For the chocolate coating:
350g bar of your favourite chocolate
Depending on size this recipe can make 26 – 30 Penguins.
- In the mixer beat the butter with the caster sugar. Not for too long, just until combined.
- Add the egg and mix, again not for long (less beating means less spreading in the oven).
- Add the flour and the cocoa and mix until it comes together into a ball.
- Place the biscuit dough into a large food bag and pop into the fridge for an hour.
- In the meantime prepare your buttercream: put all the ingredients into the mixer and combine (you may wish to pop a tea towel over the top as the icing sugar will go everywhere!). The buttercream should be stiff but spreadable.
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees fan.
- Remove dough from the fridge.
- Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and rolling pin and roll out half the biscuit dough – it's easier to do half at a time. Get it as thin as you can.
- Then cut out the shapes with your cutter and move, with a fish slice or similar, to your baking tray.
- Place in the oven for ten minutes.
- Roll out the rest of the dough and repeat.
- Once baked, remove from the oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then place onto a baking rack.
- When completely cooled, spread one biscuit with a little buttercream. Not too much – make sure it goes to the edges.
- Place another biscuit on top and put to one side. Repeat with all the biscuits. You now have naked Penguins.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
- Spoon or spread the chocolate over the Penguins and allow to set.