Make these elegant biscuits from Cape, Curry and Koesisters by Fatima Sydow and Gadija Sydow Noordien, R330, Human & Rousseau. They’ll be the highlight of your next tea party.


500g butter, at room temperature
250ml (1 cup) castor sugar

1 egg

15ml (1T) vanilla essence

700ml (2¾ cup) cake flour

5ml (1t) baking powder

200ml (¾ cup) cocoa powder

375ml (1½ cup) desiccated coconut


1 slab cooking chocolate

30ml (2T) cocoa powder

zest of 1 orange


1. Using a hand whisk, cream the butter and castor sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix for 1 minute.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and coconut and mix by hand to form a soft dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Grease two baking trays.

4. Roll out the dough on a well-floured surface to about 5mm thick. Ensure that your rolling pin is floured as well or simply place some plastic wrap or greaseproof paper over the dough and roll out. Run a fork lightly over the dough to make a rugged surface.

5. Cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter and place them on the prepared baking trays. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on wire racks.

6. To make the topping, break the cooking chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave oven for 1½ minutes or until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the microwave and add the cocoa powder. Stir well.

7. Lay a piece of greaseproof paper on your work surface. Dip each biscuit halfway into the melted chocolate and then place on the paper. Place two to three strands of orange zest onto the chocolate then allow the chocolate to cool and harden.