baking


I’m not much of a cookie baker. I usually make cakes and pies, but I love chocolate chip cookies. Every so often, the New York Times runs a story about the ultimate chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was intrigued by Chocolate and Zucchini’s interpretation of a recipe that Jacques Torres had in the NYT a while back. I share Clotilde’s belief that chocolate chip cookies should not be the size of your face, but a more manageable size.

This recipe calls for chocolate disks or feves. I have never baked with them before so I searched around for a place that sells them. I found the most fantastic place in St. Lawrence Market called Domino’s which sells lots of yummy stuff in bulk. I grabbed some dark chocolate feves and some plantain chips and went on my way.

I doubled the recipe because I’m going to give away most of the cookies I make. The dough is pretty standard and easy to put together. I did hit a snag though and realized that I had accidentally used half the butter that I should have. I quickly added more butter and threw the dough in the fridge.

chocolate chip cookie dough

46 hours later, I baked all of the dough. I think the cookies look quite stunning:

chocolate chip cookies

Straight, warm out of the oven, they tasted good. I think i misjudged the salt, and didn’t use quite enough. I’m going to reserve full judgment until tomorrow. Clotilde says she thinks the cookies taste better the next day!

ETA (Aug 4): The cookies the day after are FANTASTIC! I brought them with me to a friend’s cottage for the long weekend, and they were more lovely the days after. The cookies stay light, soft and moist. I can’t wait to make them again.

A few weeks ago, my friend L was telling me about throwing a birthday party for herself. She was going to cook all the food and invite everyone over for a summer feast in her backyard. L also mentioned that she’d like a cake. A not so subtle hint to break out the bakeware.

Let me just say that yesterday afternoon when I was thinking about baking in this heat wave, I was not excited to be sweating over some cake batter. Then I remembered that the Bitten blog had put out a recipe a few weeks ago on cupcakes that I had been meaning to try. I do not agree at all with the author’s stance on cupcakes. I love cupcakes. In fact, I had a cupcake last week at a new vegan restaurant near my house that totally knocked my socks off. (I’ll save my rant about vegan baking for another time) I will hopefully be able to reproduce those little coconut lemon cupcakes in my kitchen, soon. Big, small, lots of frosting, buttercream, red velvet, pistachio, etc, I love a beautiful little cupcake.

The batter was a snap to make, and I should have reduced the baking time 5 minutes, but I got a bit distracted. The cupcakes came out nicely:

chocolate cupcakes

The ganache was easy peasy, and looked superb on the cupcake:

decorated cupcake

I love decorating cupcakes. You get into a zone that’s almost zen-like. It’s also so satisfying to see them all lined up nicely:

cupcakes all lined up and ready to go!

The cupcakes were a hit, especially the ganache frosting. It was a great backyard party. I’m going to have to make them again this week, and the only thing I’d change is that I would reduce the baking time by about 5 minutes. I think my new oven runs a bit hot.