Monday, 24 September 2012
Chocolate Orange Cookies
So remember that time I didn't write anything for a couple of weeks and was like, 'woah, that's
ridiculous, i'm so sorry guys, I'm sure I'll get my act together and start posting more from now on'.
And then I went almost 5 weeks without posting?
It's not like I haven't been baking. I assure you. I've developed some great halloween recipes for the bakery at the shop where I work. I made a pretty beautiful spiced chocolate orange tart. Marshmallows, candy floss, various biscuits, and a couple of cakes I'm working on perfecting before I share them with you.
But none of it made it on to here because of timings. Oops.
Anyway, I'm back with one of the highlights of the time I've been missing from the internet. Heston Bluementhal, while absolutely mad [in a good way], has moments of genius. I'm not generally tempted to carry out his recipes - generally, there's too much effort involved, even for me - but I'm a great admirer of the way he develops his recipes.
One featured here is for chocolate chip cookies. Heston's recipe calls for making a chocolate ganache, freezing it and chopping it into chocolate 'chips' to put into the cookie dough. For good reason - the ganache melts into the biscuit during cooking, but remains intact. You know those cookies you make that are tasty except for those burned gritty little pieces of chocolate?
This method, while so simple, makes a huge difference. And it makes an awesome cookie.
I added to the ganache, making it a chocolate orange 'chip'. It went well. I'd think you could use whatever flavouring you want, within reason. Chocolate & coffee would be good. Chocolate & amaretto I imagine could be great. At Christmas I plan to adapt these to a spiced chocolate orange chip cookie [a bit of a mouthful, but I'm thinking they'll taste fantastic!] and even a touch of baileys in the ganache could make a really good flavoured treat.
Aside from the stroke of genius chocolate part of the cookies, the cookie dough itself is a perfect match for a good chewy cookie, my favourite kind.
There's chocolate orange in every bite. The cookies are a light golden brown, with a crunchy top and a soft chewy centre. Planning ahead to make the ganache chips proved one of my best baking decisions so far. It paid of in a big way.
Good job Heston. I applaud you and your methods. And especially your chocolate chip cookies.
I adapted this recipe, just slightly, from Heston's book 'Heston Bluementhal at Home'. If you're interested in his cooking style, it's a great read, and there are some really impressive recipes that can be done without any fancy gadgets.
If you need a bit more encouragement, try this recipe. I hope it impresses you as much as it did me.
Heston's Chocolate Orange Chip Cookies
For the chocolate chips:
20g golden syrup
140g whipping cream
125g dark chocolate
1 tsp cointreau, or orange essence
Melt the chocolate, cream and syrup over a low heat until it is all melted and combined. Stir in the flavouring, and pour into a lined baking tray.
Let the chocolate mixture set at room temperature for about an hour, and then move it into the freezer, for about 4 hours, or until frozen hard.
Remove from the freezer and chop into small cubes, and put back in the freezer until use.
For the cookies:
440g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
230g unsalted butter
520g golden caster sugar [general caster sugar can be used]
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb, and salt into a bowl and combine.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Gradually add the flour mixture, until a dough is formed. Add the frozen chocolate chips.
Place spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto a greased lined tray, at least 10cm apart.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes at 190 degrees, until the cookies are golden brown on top. Allow the biscuits to rest on the tray for a few minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack.
Cookies will last up to five days in an airtight container... though this is just in theory!