Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Frenchman's Cookie

I still religiously read the Dining section of the New York Times every week, albeit online, and to my amazement a couple weeks back there was a great article on chocolate chip cookies and how NYC pastry chefs work their magic on this very classic-so-classic-you-really-shouldn't-mess-with-mrs.tollhouse-classic American institution.

Now, I am not really one who usually abides by this sort of nonsense as on an everyday level I haven't met a recipe that I haven't tweaked in one way or another. One of the best parts of going to culinary school was learning how the chemistry/magic of pastry recipes can be gently pushed in other directions while still maintaining it's integrity.

So, like many people who have baking blogs I too read this article with much excitement and enthusiasm! The recipe and tips are very interesting especially the the last bit, a sprinkling of sea salt on the top...genius. At my culinary alma mater, I had the pleasure of taking a few classes with Jacques Torres and the man certainly knows a thing or two about chocolate...then I graduated and went to work for his arch rival uptown and I had to forget all about it, but I digress. :-)

I had the luck to find some very yummy Valhrona Manjari 64% feves (discs) to use for this recipe. The cult of Valhrona, to which I swear my allegiance, is really starting to take off in London finally. Not only is the chocolate, in all it's gorgeous flavours easier to find, it's even popping up on the odd dessert menu here and there. Check out the size of these discs...the cookie batter really is just a vehicle for a serious amount of chocolate. yay! Nestle, eat your heart out.

If Londoners don't truly appreciate Valhrona yet, using the discs in these cookies might just win them over.

The recipe quite interestingly, requires a certain amount of maturation time for the flavours to really bond. I have whipped up a batch...and without tweaking the recipe for once... this afternoon and will post again tomorrow at the 24 hour mark then again at the 36 hour mark for a taste test.

Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday, doesn't it??

Hope you are having a great weekend!

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