Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Happy Day for Cakes

Just when I was stressing about my cake decorating classes for July and whether or not I'd have enough students for the classes to run, the phone rang.  A potential student for my daytime class.  We discussed the supplies, cost, etc., and she said her mom would likely take the class with her.  The phone rang again within the next hour.  Another potential student for the same class.  Looking good that the daytime class will run, and there is still another week plus until it begins.  Within the next 45 minutes, I got another call from a mom that is interested in taking my evening class with her daughter.  If all these people sign up, I should be golden.  But just in case, I plan to have a demo table at the store (I teach at Hobby Lobby) sometime (maybe twice) next week to generate some interest.

My ten year old daughter Katie wanted to bake something today.  I tried to talk her into chocolate chip cookies (I am addicted to Jacques Torres' version, see recipe below), but she wanted chocolate cupcakes.  We tried the recipe in my copy of Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack.  Now the cupcakes are cooling and waiting for Katie to come home from a friend's house.  She wants to practice piping on them.  And she wants to sign up for one of my classes!  That sweet girl of mine.....

I can't verify that the cookie recipe really comes from Jacques, but it's been credited to him on many websites.  Even if it's not his, the recipe rocks.  I have never bothered with the chilling part, I bake them up right away.  I typically bake them at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes, using a medium ice cream scoop to scoop the dough.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

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

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 chips, at least 60 percent cacao content
Sea salt.


Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

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.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

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.

Source: Jacques Torres

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