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Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are the most quintessential American cookie. We have baked it in a skillet pan and doused it with ice-cream to call it pizzokie. We have turned the dough into an essential part of cookie dough ice-cream. Chef David Ansel has turned it into a culinary wonder by creating the Cookie Shot. 

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My favorite? Plain ole soft chocolate chip cookie. My husband devours them with a glass of cold milk. He cannot get any more American if he tried. 

I do add a secret ingredient to my recipe. To be honest, it is less of a secret and was born more due to necessity. And by necessity I am referring to an urgent late night craving of sugar. 

The secret ingredient is condensed milk. It increases the moisture content of the cookie- hence making it softer than cookies that use brown sugar. It doesn’t necessarily make it extremely sweet because it replaces the brown sugar in the recipe. Brown sugar is usually what adds chewiness to the cookie. The condensed milk will make it a little cakey-chewy. 

An important tool I will highly recommend is an ice cream scoop. Such as this one. The reason for this is that it will give the cookie a perfectly round shape.

The method that is used for making the cookies is called “creaming”. In culinary world, it means that the butter is whipped to form cream consistency. The rest of the “fat” and “sugar” is added to it and whipped further. The dry ingredients are then “folded” in. 

It is imperative that the butter be at room temperature. But not melted. Room temperature butter is soft to touch but retains its shape.

You are going to need a stand mixer for optimal results.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter - soft at room temp
  • 3/4 cup condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (At room temp in order to not harden the butter)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon maldon or sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cup good quality chocolate chips

Directions

Cream the butter till it turns into soft sour cream consistency. Add condensed milk. Once it is incorporated with the butter, add sugar. Once it is thoroughly homogenous, add the egg and vanilla extract. Keep beating. In another bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.

Once the butter, condensed milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla are mixed well, gradually add the dry ingredients. do not over mix. Just mix enough till the dough forms. Add in the chocolate chips last and gently fold it in to the dough. Now cover it and refrigerate it for an hour at least. Or at this point you can scoop it out on a tray, freeze it, and bag the scoops to bake it for later. 

Place the scoops at an ample distance- this cookie has a good amount of spread. 

Bake it at 375F for 10 minutes. They make "look" underdone but do not give in to the temptation of over baking. As long as the edges have a slight brown colour, you are good to go. Cool them down at room temp. Once the are cooled, they will not "fall apart" when you try to lift them off the tray. Store them at room temp. They will be soft even a day after.

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Enjoy!

Pomegranate and Peach Entremet with a hint of roses

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Pomegranate and Peach Entremet with a hint of roses

I wanted to start off the pastries section with something special. Something that will reflect on the knowledge I have been blessed with in the past year. I am not sure how many of you followed my previous work as a blogger, however, if this is the first time you have come across my work, I suggest you peruse through the about me section to get to know a little bit about me. 

This is quite a complex and long winded recipe. I suggest that you read it all before jumping into making it. you will also need to give yourself enough time for buying the ingredients and preparation. Some ingredients may be hard for you to find. Such as gelatine. I say that largely for my muslim readers who look for halal (or kosher) options when it comes to gelatine. 

An entremet is a dessert made of several components. The base layers is usually cake, along with a Pâte de fruit layer that is encased in a cream based filling, which is usually mousse or bavarian cream. Each layer is prepared separately and encased in a silicone mould. Now here is where all those pretty mirror glazed cakes comes into play. This moulded and frozen (for almost 12-18 hours) entremet is then glazed and decorated.

This recipe is a little tricky to instruct via words, however, I am going to try my best to compensate with photos.

 

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PART 1 - CAKE LAYER

The size of the cake layer entirely depends on the size of the mould. This is the mould I bought from Amazon. A 6 inch round cake layer fit the bottom of the mould perfectly.

Here is the recipe I used for the cake layer:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon maldon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup peach compote (my mom made this with fresh Niagara peaches, For ease, you can use peach jam)

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. This should yield one 6 inch cake. Once it is cooled, wrap with saran wrap along with the cake pan and freeze it. This will make it easy for you to slice it and level it.

PART 2- PATE DE FRUIT- POMEGRANATE AND ROSES

Ingredients

  • 97 grams of Pomegranate juice (I used fresh Pomegranate juice but you can use Pom)
  • 3 grams of candied Rose Syrup (I used Rooh Afza)
  • 150 grams boiling water
  • 10 grams gelatine

Sprinkle the gelatine over the mixture of Pomegranate and Rose Syrup and rest it for 3 minutes till it hardens. Add boiling water to the mixture, and blend it really well- till the gelatine completely dissolves. Line a 6 inch cake pan with saran wrap and pour the mixture in it and set it in the fridge till it hardens. 

The next step is to have your froze cake layer cut and leveled to fit your mould and remove the pate de fruit from the cake pan and keep that layer ready as well.

The next step is preparing the mousse and it is very helpful to have a second set of hands for this step. If you do not, then please meticulously follow through each step and you should have no problem conquering this all on your own. 

PART 3- WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

You will need a food thermometre for this part. 

Ingredients

A:

13.3 Oz Couverture (Good Quality White Chocolate. Home bakers can use lindt or ghiradelli chocolate chips)

B:

  • 1/3 Cup Egg Yolks
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Cream

C:  

  • 1/8 cup + 1/2 Cup Egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

D:

  • 2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

Directions

Melt couverture to 105-110 F. Combine Part B till the mixture is completely blended.

Whip heavy cream from Part D and set aside in the fridge. There are certain rules to follow with whipping the cream. The whip attachment and the mixing bowl (metal preferably) should be refrigerated ahead of time. It will hasten the process of whipping cream. Cream should be whipped till it holds shape and leaves tracks of the whip attachment.

The next step would be to mix Part C. If you are going to use the same mixing bowl and whip attachment, transfer the whip cream into a separate bowl and thoroughly clean the whip and the bowl. Any trace amounts of "fat" and the egg whites will not whip.  Just throw in cream of tartar and start whipping the egg whites at low speed. Once the egg whites start getting foamy, increase the speed to medium high. The meringue is ready when it holds its shape and leaves tracks in the meringue from the whisk attachment. 

Make sure the couverture is still between 105-110F. Mix it with Part B. Do step when the meringue is about to be completely whisked into shape.

Here is where it is about to get a little overwhelming. Warm up your arms cause you are about to get a workout in. Make sure Part A and B are in a big bowl as you will be dropping in the egg whites in 3-4 parts to whisk it together. Do this as quickly as possible with a rubber spatula. Once entirely mixed, you will be adding in the Heavy Whipping cream that has been refrigerating. Add this in parts too. At first it will feel like the mixture is clumping. Do not stop- keep folding in the heavy whipping cream. The final mousse mixture should look homogenous. Work quickly now as mousse sets fast. To make it easy, use a 16-inch pastry bag to pipe out the mousse. You will have some left over mousse that you can add to fancy wine glasses, mix it with fruit compote, and serve it as a whole different dessert.

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PART 4- ASSEMBLING THE ENTREMET

I started by laying down the cake layer first. Then I quickly piped in the mousse. I then added the pate de fruit layer and added some more mousse around it and on top. Make sure the entremet is leveled on top of the mould. Freeze overnight. 

 

 

PART 5- MIRROR GLAZE

Ingredients

A:

  • 15g gelatine
  • 1/3 cup cold water 

B:

  • 100g water
  • 200g sugar
  • 200g light corn syrup 

C:

  • 150g condensed milk
  • 200g white chocolate couverture (Ghiradelli or Lindt)
  • Wilton Food Colour- gel- I used Orange, Purple, and Red to yield Peach and Pomegranate colours. The purple just adds a good contrast.

You will need a thermometre and an inverted blender for this step. 

Part A- Sprinkle gelatine on top of the cold water and let it harden.

Combine ingredients in Part B and boil together. Once boiled, add Part A to it and mix thoroughly till the gelatine dissolves entirely. Add condensed milk to this mixture. Pour this on top of the white chocolate coverture. Let it rest for 25 seconds. Then use an inversion blender and mix it till the mixture becomes smooth. Divide into 3 parts, add gel colour to each, blend it separately. Pour all three glazes through the sieve to get rid of bubbles into one jar. At this point, un-mould the entremet and set it on top of a condensed milk tin or any other tin. Make sure the glaze is at 90F before you pour it on top of the entremet. Once poured, take an offset spatula and smoothen out the glaze on top. Clean the spatula and use it to carefully lift it and place it on a cake board.

Decorate it as you see fit. Store it in the fridge if you are going to serve it in the next two or three hours. Otherwise, you can store it in the freezer and remove it 3 hours before serving and place it in the fridge. 

 

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Voila!