Sunday 14 January 2007
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you utterly fail.
I did try, in fact, to resist to Pierre Hermé’s sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel.
But then, from the photo above you can tell I’ve given in – and what a defeat; because although I easily concede that, ‘yes, I’ve been weak and lacking of will-power’, now my current and unique obsession is to remake these as soon as possible (still I will make an effort and wait for at least a day or two).Nevertheless, it is not my fault. It seems that every single person on this planet s’est donnée le mot [has been conspiring].
I was already, at the beginning, vulnerable and very receptive to the charms of these cookies: intensely chocolaty and beautifully salty. And the worldwide conspiracy didn’t help – at all.
By September I had developed weird symptoms of what might have looked like the ‘rage syndrome’: sudden attacks for no apparent reason;
the dog fanny will often be sleeping and then attacks without warning. Its her eyes become dilated and sometimes change colour during and after an attack.
the dog fanny is totally confused when attacking and will not respond to any attempts to stop it her. The attacks are very unpredictable and the dog fanny will appear disorientated afterward and unaware of its actions, then return to its her normal self shortly after.
Victims are usually members of the family who have one or more chocolate and fleur de sel sablés in their hands.However, and from what I remember, the climax of the strange behaviour I had was reached on the 5th January; when Deb posted, not one but, three pictures of the coveted little – rounds – of – pure – chocolate.
It was too much! Definitely too much!
I started panicking, fell petrified onto the floor and begun to sway, moving quickly from one position to another.
That’s all I can recall from that day; because, when I woke up the next day everything seemed back to normal. Back to normal except that now sitting on my bed table laid a plate of Pierre Hermé’s cookies instead of the usual pile of cookbooks.
* All you’ve read above is pure fiction :) Well, who am I kidding? Let’s say it is only
very close to what really happened!
Sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my home to yoursIn French, sablés litteraly means ‘sandy’. And these are indeed deliciously sandy.
I love the contrast between the melting chocolate chunks and the texture of the sable itself.
The addition of salt is a brilliant idea: it doesn’t only enhance the profound chocolate taste but it also makes these cookies particularly desirable.
Dorie says you can keep them for three days – stored in an airtight container; though, I highly doubt you’ll be enough strong-minded to resist!
Note – The dough can be kept in the fridge for three days or frozen for two months (in which case you needn’t defrost it before baking; just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer).
Sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel
makes about 35 cookies
175g all-purpose flour
30g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120g cup (packed) light brown sugar
50g cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark chocolate (fanny: I used 70% cocoa), chopped into chips
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
Cream the butter on medium speed until soft. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two.
Pour in the flour and mix just until combined – work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly.
Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 4cm in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours (fanny : for me, overnight).
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Working with a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1cm thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2cm between them.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature. But to be completely honest, I can’t say what they taste like at room temperature as I couldn’t help but eat them straight from the oven.