A new year mean a new start, possibilities and a new chance to fulfill your dreams.
This is also the essence of baking. Even though baking is about accuracy and preciseness, a new dough or batter mean another chance to measure correctly, get it right and make it better, But most importantly a new possibility to LEARN and develop. That’s what I will continue to do in 2015.
My first recipe this year is a cookie, which at first glance may seem nothing much, but the dark intricate flavor and texture – which ends with a subtle chewiness – of this little biscuit will tell you that it shouldn’t be underestimated. And it can also be used in many different ways. Serve it with a generous bowl of vanilla ice cream or use as a textural component in plated desserts, like I did for New Years Eve.
This cookie dough is a pâte sablée. Sable mean “sand” in French and refers to a delicate pastry dough (pâte) which has a crumbly and friable texture. Sablé also refers to the method of mixing the dough, called “sablage”, rub, where rubbing the butter is supposed to coat the flour and sugar, in order to give that sandy like texture. This is the traditional way, but today you can encounter the so called creaming method for this dough as well, which is the case for this recipe. Soft butter is creamed together with sugar and salt (and occasionally egg yolk) before incorporated with the flour.
Dark Chocolate Sablé Cookies
Adapted from Miette — Recipes from San Francisco’s most Charming Pastry Shop by M. Ray
140g / 5 oz. organic plain flour
30g / 1 oz. organic cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
115g / 4 oz. organic butter
130g / 4.5 oz. organic raw sugar
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
3/4 tsp organic vanilla extract
100g / 3.5 oz. dark chocolate, 70%
1. Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Finely grate the chocolate. Set aside.
3. Beat sugar with butter, vanilla and salt until creamy for about 4 minutes.
4. Add the dry ingredients and grated chocolate to the butter mix and form a dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour — the dough can be stored in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for at least a month.
5. Roll out the dough until about 5 mm / 1/4 inch thick (or as thick as you like, just be sure to bake them a little longer) and cut out cookies in preferred shapes. Bake the cookies on a lined baking tray in 175 C / 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
♣ Decorate cookies with melted dark or white chocolate, royal icing or why not your favorite M&M’s.
♣ Flavor the icing with coffee, cocoa or berry reductions.
♣ Serve with a generous bowl of vanilla ice cream. You can also use whole cookies or crumbles as a textural component in plated desserts.