[Aïda’s (but also, Pierre Hermé’s) chocolate sablés viennois]

I would have preferred a guinea pig.
Those were my first words when my mother told me she was pregnant. As an eight year-old single child, the anticipation of having a sister – or even worse, a brother – was a rather dreadful thought.
However, as years went by, I got used to the idea. And today there is hardly anything or anyone I love more than Aïda, the sweetest sister ever. Not even my awesome boyfriend – or more accurately lack of boyfriend-awesomeness (blond guy who works a Kusmi, find me and my number, and call me); not even my Kitchen Aid stand-mixer. Yes, she totally rocks this much.
So basically, when she asked if she could have her own column on foodbeam, we both got somewhat excited. She chose a recipe. From Pierre Hermé – just another evidence of her innate terrific-ness.
Sure, at the exact moment I write this, she’s being plain annoying and makes me wish I would actually have had a guinea pig instead; hopefully, she’ll soon turn back into the great sister she is most of the time :)

Anyway, let’s move on to the sablés. Rich little pieces of butter and chocolate (and quite obviously, flour, sugar and egg white as well). The recipe, which comes from Pierre Hermé’s Mes desserts au chocolat, should make 65 sablés. What we didn’t know is how small they’re supposed to be; clearly we ended with around 30 chunky biscuits.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line two baking sheets with baking paper. And get all the ingredients ready:
– 260g flour
– 30g cocoa powder
– 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
-100g icing sugar
– 3tbsp whipped egg whites (use 2 eggs and spoon out 3tbsp)

You can prepare your piping bag at the same time.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder, until no white or brown streaks remain.

Cream the butter using an electric whisk, until fluffy. It must be very soft, almost cloud like.

Fold in the sugar and a pinch of salt.

Separate two eggs, keeping the white only (save the yolks for another use – pastry cream, yum!).

Whisk the egg whites until frothy. And fold three tablespoons of them into the butter mixture.

Mix in the flour and cocoa powder and stir with a spoon until just incorporated. The dough should be sort of lumpy.

Not too lumpy though. Keep in mind that it’ll be piped.

Fill the prepared piping bag with the dough, pushing down to get rid of the air.

Pipe small Ss (however, Ws would be prettier). And bake in the preheated oven fo 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. When cool, keep in an airtight box for up to one week.