Saturday, September 13, 2014

Chocolate Rads

Chocolate Rads - made August 17, 2014 from The Model Bakery Cookbook by Karen Mitchell and Sarah Mitchell Hansen
This recipe didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned. But that was my fault. I'd made the dough, following the recipe to the letter but it turned out to be somewhat liquid, more like a cake batter than a cookie dough. Which of course has the power to sufficiently freak me out. With so much chocolate in the batter, the best thing to do is chill and let it set. Then it should have stiffened enough to portion into cookie dough balls.
I tried that, I really did. But after half an hour in the refrigerator, I was only able to scoop out less than a dozen "balls" that threatened to flatten before they froze sufficiently in the freezer. So I decided to hedge my bets and poured the remaining batter (seriously, it was batter) into an 8-inch baking pan and treated them like brownies.
In hindsight, they somewhat turned out as brownies - just on the rich and fudgy side. Which is not a bad thing, mind you. Except....what with beating the mixture so much after the eggs are added, the top formed a substantial crust, bringing out the meringue properties of highly beaten eggs. I don't like meringues or crusts on my brownies. These didn't cut cleanly because of the crust. But underneath it was fine. Just take small bites as you fill up on your chocolate quota.
And the ones I managed to make as cookies? Far better than as brownies. The cookies also formed a crust but not as thick as on the brownies. In cookie form, the crust made for a nice texture contrast with the soft fudginess of the inside of the cookie. It was still rich so I'd advise making these small. I used a large cookie scoop and mine came out too large. I ate a third of the cookie at a time. There was a time when I could down a rich cookie and keep on truckin' but alas, those days are gone. Bummer.
2/3 cup (95 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 pound/455 g semisweet chocolate (55% cacao or less), finely chopped
4 tablespoons (55 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups (330 g) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon cold brewed espresso or 1 teaspoon instant espresso dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water and cooled
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (340 g) semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Melt the one pound of semisweet chocolate and butter in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. 
  3. Beat the sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on high speed until mixture is fluffy, thick and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Beat in the espresso and vanilla.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the melted chocolate-butter until blended; do not overmix.
  5. Add the flour mixture until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Scoop into small to medium-size dough balls. Chill or freeze for several hours or overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the tops of the cookies are cracked and the edges are beginning to crisp. Remove from oven and cool completely.

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