Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Adult Cookie Sandwich

While I have quite a few dessert volumes dedicated to chocolate, the one I consistently turn to time and again is Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme, written by Dorie Greenspan. No other book fills me with the same excitement, the same urgent need to go rustle something up in the kitchen. And despite the fact that I've stayed up nights pouring over its exquisite pages, I never fail to spot yet another recipe I simply must try or revisit or tinker with.

In looks, this pair of treats are elegant and decorous. But in terms of taste and texture, they very much remind me of cookie sandwiches - the crisp and chewy without affording the loveliest contrast to the creamy and lush within.

Triple Chocolate Meringue Puffs

The original recipe is a unique take on meringue glacée, with whisper-weight chocolate meringues anchoring a scoop of chocolate ice cream or bittersweet chocolate sorbet, crowned by an extravagant swirl of chocolate whipped cream. I've used the pastry chef's Deep Chocolate Cream recipe instead of ice cream as the filling (thus making it closer in character to a meringue chantilly rather than a meringue glacée) so the dessert can be assembled ahead of time - a useful trait in a dish if, like me, you get unnecessarily stressed by the prospect of last minute work. My favourite part was piping out the Botero-esque meringue rounds - plump, peaked poufs resembling chubby chocolate kisses. As Dorie Greenspan advises, deconstructing the dessert (a messily delicious affair, incidentally) requires both spoon and fork.


Chocolate and Hazelnut Dacquoise

Here, discs of hazelnut and almond dacquoise - a cross between meringue and cake in texture - sandwich an intense bittersweet chocolate cream ganache. To maximise the crunchy circumference-to-chewy centre ratio, not to mention succumb to my obsession with miniaturisation, I piped out the batter in small rounds intended for individual servings instead of the 9-inch circles called for.

28 Comments:

Blogger Michèle said...

ok. hold the phone. that is gorgeous! sweet and perfect edible architecture. You are most talented my dear! Can I come over for dessert? :)

9:30 pm, September 22, 2005  
Anonymous Melissa said...

Torture! For some reason I still don't have P.H.'s chocolate book (the reason for which is a long story, but basically involves me not being able to make up my mind which of his two I should buy and for some unknown reason thinking I should not buy both!)... I am so in awe of the prolific rate at which you churn out the showstopping desserts and the elegance and finesse of your styling... Someday you'll wake up to find I've moved in next door, just in order to invite myself over for a treat every day :)

9:44 pm, September 22, 2005  
Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

If I scrunch my eyes and purse my lips hard enough will these appear on my desk, instead of just my desktop?

Both look divine, and exquisitely captured as well.

10:11 pm, September 22, 2005  
Blogger Ruth said...

Those are insanely beautiful - I'm always amazed at how you outdo yourself even when it seems impossible.

12:27 am, September 23, 2005  
Anonymous Alice said...

Both are gorgeous! I need to get ahold of that book!

2:08 am, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Cenzina said...

I just discovered yur blg, photos are beautifull, nly to compare with heidi's ones. Great job, really! :-))

5:30 am, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Nic said...

I like the mini hazelnut almond dacquoise. I agree with the crunchy-to-chewy ratio improvement, but I also think that ultrarich looking ganache is tempered a bit in miniature. Delicious.

5:39 am, September 23, 2005  
Blogger sari said...

Gawd! Yr such a gem!! Yr like da real deal, fab!! hehehehe will drop by again for sure!
michie (xanga.com/thesaripartygirl)

7:38 am, September 23, 2005  
Anonymous S said...

Guys, I can't help but rub it in. Since I sort of "live next door", I'll have to say that these two yummies taste as good as they look. I just had the triple choc meringue puff for breakfast (well just the bits that I managed to wrestle out of CH's hands, that is). While the ice cream suggested in the original recipe is a fab idea, I think the deep chocolate cream J chose to use was even better because it tasted like ice cream, but didn't melt rapidly like it (we had it fresh out of the refrigerator). Ooh and that hazelnut and almond dacquoise was beautifully airy, yet chewy in all the right ways.

9:29 am, September 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You always have such exquisite taste with your choice of recipes and photos...you must have infinite patience as well, for all that work in miniature. I give up so quickly and just make the bigger cookies!

Amy

9:48 am, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Cathy said...

Jocelyn - how do you do it? Not only is each dessert a work of art, so is each photo.

11:16 am, September 23, 2005  
Blogger babe_kl said...

J, does the application for the job "Guinea Pig" still open?? :p

2:11 pm, September 23, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi michele, thanks...this door is always open ;)

hi melissa, thanks...i dwaddled for the longest time trying to decide and finally gave in big-time by acquiring both at a go - and may i just say they are well-worth every single cent? i know they're gorgeous enough to function as coffee table volumes but i use them so much they are starting to look rather tatty...and if you ever moved in next door, i'll be more than happy to barter for spillovers from your bountiful table!

hi ag, if only they travelled well, i would fedex a package pronto ;)

hi ruth, thanks...glad you like the looks of them...

hi alice, thanks! the book is a real gem...

hi cenzina, thanks, but you're being incredibly kind...

hi nic, thanks! for me, any excuse to downsize a dessert...

hi sari, thanks :)

hi s, thanks, really glad you liked them...you know there're few other palates and critiques i trust and value quite as much as yours ;) i'm inclined to believe any number of your divine homemade ice-creams would work a treat in the puffs...

hi amy, thanks...evidently, i never quite got making playdoh cupcakes for my dolls as a child out of my system ;)

hi cathy, thanks for being so kind...

hi babekl, for you, always ;D

5:35 pm, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Reid said...

Hi J,

You never cease to amaze me. I'm in awe of your skill both as a dessert maker/baker/pastry chef, etc. (I think you get the picture!) and a photographer. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

7:38 pm, September 23, 2005  
Blogger soycap said...

Hi j,

I'm getting hungry just looking at those pics! Beautifully done again and again :) I would love to get a piece of each!

8:26 pm, September 23, 2005  
Blogger Mika said...

I am reading this book right now and your pictures are as beautiful as the book's.

8:39 pm, September 23, 2005  
Anonymous Mel said...

Oh my these are lovely! Dibs on the dacquoise sandwiches! :D

7:23 pm, September 24, 2005  
Blogger Skrat said...

Hi J,
goodness...you are so inspiring! You really make me wanna bake whenever i visit your blog! Could you recommend some good cookbooks for baking pls? I usually love desserts with chocolate, cheese and fruits! Would be great if you could recommend some titles to me! Thanks! :)

8:53 pm, September 24, 2005  
Blogger Steffles said...

J- your pics look incredible, as usual. my favourite combination - chocolate and hazelnut!!! in fact, gonna bake a nutella cake recipe from "the domestic goddess" today.... hope it turns out well.

10:53 am, September 25, 2005  
Blogger T said...

Im also very aware of "ratios" of parts of a food item. These sandwich cookies are very adult indeed! The second one especially is making my mouth water.

4:00 am, September 26, 2005  
Blogger pseudo chef said...

Heya J

The meringue puffs are to die for [not literally but enough to sin for ;)]

10:00 pm, September 26, 2005  
Blogger Clare Eats said...

J
You ALWAYS take my breath away, I am going to have to do something more urgent about ordering that book!

1:53 pm, September 27, 2005  
Blogger McAuliflower said...

Tanvi said: I'm also very aware of "ratios" of parts of a food item. These sandwich cookies are very adult indeed!

I was still thinking of naughty cookies when I read this title too!

These cookies are a bit pendulous looking...

2:38 am, September 29, 2005  
Anonymous Cath said...

Oh. My. God. How delectable do they look!? Stunning as always, J. Are there any left?

5:24 am, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous Tea said...

Those cookies look great! As always...I'm salivating just by looking at your pictures. ^_^

11:04 am, September 30, 2005  
Anonymous Midge said...

Hi, J! Those cookiewiches look so fabulous! Chocolate, meringue, and cream - I can't think of a more decadent combination, really.

11:06 am, September 30, 2005  
Blogger J said...

hi reid, thank you, thank you, and thank you...you are always so encouraging

hi soycap, thanks...for you, two pieces each...

hi mika, thanks, but you're being awfully kind

hi mel, thanks :)

hi skrat, thanks...apart from pierre herme's chocolate desserts, i really like alice medrich's bittersweet and fran bigelow's pure chocolate. for all round inspiration, sherry yard's the secrets of baking and cladia fleming's the last course are hard to beat...

hi steffles, thanks...terrific choice of nigella recipe; it's also one of my faves from her book

hi tanvi, thanks...proportion is everything, isn't it? btw, did i ever mention i just love your cookie monster icon?

hi pc, thanks! diet-friendly fare, they are not...

hi clare, thanks!the book is a must-have...

hi jocelyn, i keep dropping by brownie points to have a giggle over your misbehavin' cookies...

hi cath, thanks...we hoovered them up pretty quick...

hi tea, thanks!

hi midge, thanks...decadent, they were

12:25 am, October 02, 2005  
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10:29 pm, October 26, 2005  

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