Les Sourires aka Chocolate Lace Crisps #InheritanceRecipes

Chocolate lace Crisps Sourires biscuits

We all do it, don't we?: mnemotechnics. We all have little tricks to recall people's names, places etc...When he and I travel, we tend to change the name of places into similar sounding words to commit them to memory.

Years ago, a visit Mexico unleashed my inner Laura Croft. I suddenly became very keen on visiting all possible sites, may they be from the Aztecs, Mayan, Toltecs, Zapotecs or any other ancient cultures, for that matter.

Ancient cities in this part of the world have a fascinating Science-Fiction quality, especially these located in the dense jungle. The scenery helps to reinforce an aura of mystery.
Mexico Yucatan Jungle
Mexico Pyramid Yucatan

In spite of the constant rain (If you think the UK is wet, try Yucatan) the sites are highly visited. People of all nations wearing, colourful PVC ponchos come and go, all day long and it's a spectacle in itself to watch them.

The problem with visiting so many sites soon becomes a very old one: "How do you recall which one is which?". So we applied fool-proof memo-technics and soon Yaxchilan was pronounced YackChilian, Teotihuacan ....Teoti-can-can and Chichen Itza became  forever the famous Chicken-Pizza site.

Mexico travel Yucatan Pyramid

"Forever" is the critical word. As neither of us are now able to revert the proper names. This got forgotten. It can lead to some rather embarrassing conversations:
"When in Mexico, where did you go?" 
"heuuh, Teo-Ti-can-can, Chicken-Pizza" think not.

But this problem is not confined to travels. It spilt out, in fact, it has always been a way of coping with complicated proper names. Most of the dishes, I ate at my grandfather's had Arabic names, some of them didn't  even have a name. Of the many desserts baked by the equally many aunties, neighbours and which adorned the dining table during the religious festivals, often, were "renamed". 

A classic is the Ghoriba, a sweet, flowerless almond biscuit crinkled all around which I used to call Sourire because the cracks look like smiles. Sadly, I never got the recipe but on the first day of Spring, Sourires is the recipe, I wanted on Pebble Soup. So I chose to bake Chocolate Lace Crisps instead and from now on they will be called Sourires too.

Sourires aka Chocolate Lace Crisps

First, read these few tips.

These biscuits should not flatten (as they have in the picture)  Adding more oil than called for will also cause the cookies to spread -- I wouldn't suggest it, they really don't need extra butter.

Another way to make them rounder is to make them bigger

The icing sugar often gets absorbed during the baking process. to avoid this roll the balls, let them dry a little and then roll them in the sugar.


  • 100g dark eating (semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped coarsely;
  • 80g butter, chopped;
  • 220g caster sugar;
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly;
  • 150g plain flour;
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder;
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda;
  • 40g icing sugar.
  1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and the butter
  2. In a large bowl, mix caster sugar, egg, sifted flour cocoa and bicarbonate of soda when the chocolate sauce has cooled a little add this to the bowl and stir, with a wooden spoon, don't use a mixer. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is firm.
  3. Preheat the oven 180C\160 fan. Roll level tablespoon of the mixture into balls, let them dry 5 minutes while you line a baking tray with greased baking paper
  4. roll the balls in the icing sugar. Place them on the tray, well apart about 8cm
  5. bake for 15 minutes. cool before transferring to an airtight container, they will keep a week
If like mine, they don't turn "a little too flat" use a cookie cutter to shape them.

a common problem to inherited recipes is that often inherited recipes don't really have a name. Therefore, with this reason in mind I add Sourires to this month "Inheritance Recipes" challenge which  hosted by Margot

Please join us Here and link your inheritance recipes we will add it to our social media
Pictures of Yucatan are my own, they were taken in 1999 and digitalized this morning for the purpose of this post.

And as this recipe makes plenty, I am also sharing with Casa Costello and Maison Cupcake

Casa Costello

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