The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

This recipe is taken from the article, Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret :

Chocolate Chip Cookies Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

Ingredients

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt.

Directions

  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.

Arm & Hammer – Consumer Scam?

I just bought replacements for the Arm & Hammer Baking Soda for the refridgerator and freezer and noticed a change on their box.

Where as the old box suggested to change every 3 months, now it tells us to switch every 30 days.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

Since the boxes and ingredients haven’t changed, it would appear to be an attempt to scam consumers into buying more Arm & Hammer.

I don’t like to feel taken advantage of and will not be buying their brand any longer – even if it is a relatively cheap product.

 

The Best Roasted Chicken Recipe

This chicken recipe consists of making a “compound butter” consisting of garlic, spices and butter and sticking it under the chicken skin while it cooks.

I have made this a half dozen times and each time people are completely blown away on how good it is.

The only problem I keep running into having to watch the video each time to figure out the recipe because for some reason, the I’m Cooked website is broken and won’t email it to me.

Here is the recipe followed by the video where I learned about it:

  • 1/2 Stick Butter
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • Thyme / Rosemary to taste (I like a lot)
  • Lemon Zest
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tspn Salt
  • 1 tspn Black Pepper

Follow the directions in the video and cook it for about an hour at 400 degrees until the breast internal temperature is 160 degrees.

My Quest for Bicerin

On Friday night, I speedily made my way through my TiVo’d Torino Olympic Ceremonies.  Most of the 3–some hour marathon was pointless and boring, but one 2 minute segment caught my eye.

It was about a quaint cafe that sits across from a church, called “Al Bicerin” . It is famous for it’s drink, Bicerin (pronounced bee-chair-EEN) which it has been making to wide acclaim since 1763.

The drink is essentially, one shot of espresso, liquefied chocolate, and a little cream on top.  The recipe is one of those “closely guarded secrets”, but from a little digging I found this recipe which I plan to make this morning.  I realize that it will probably only be as good as the chocolate you get, but I at least want to make it as correct as possible, and then worry about getting the right chocolate later.

Bicerin

Bicerin -Two servings

It's important to use a clear glass; you need to be able to see all three layers.

Warm one cup (250 ml) whole milk in a medium-sized saucepan with 3 ounces (90 gr) of chopped bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate. Whisk the mixture until it begins to boil, then let it boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly (the chocolate mixture will foam up a bit.)
Afterwards, remove it from the heat and set aside. Make a small pot of very strong coffee, or good Italian espresso.

Fill the bottom third of a clear, heat-proof glass with the warm chocolate mixture. Pour in some coffee or espresso. (If you want to help it create a definite layer, pour it over the back of a spoon, into the glass.)

Top with a nice swirl of sweetened, freshly-whipped cream.

Bicerin party anyone?

Update:  I just tried it out and it went pretty well.  Of note, I used a small saucepan, thinking it was more than enough, but when the recipe says “will foam up a bit”, it will foam up like 3 times it’s size.  I overflowed several times.  I also didn’t use as much cream, didn’t have the right glass, and made myself a double.  Here is my effort:

Bicerin2

It's good, real good. But very, very chocolatey. My wife's family are chocolate hounds, so I think this will finally make me popular amongst them :).