I recently purchased myself a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh’s book, Sweet. Having read the book numerous times cover to cover, and making mental and actual notes of what to bake and when. For me, Sweet reminds me of one of those CD’s (yes, I am that old) that you could listen to without skipping a track. The only dilemma I face, is to not scoff my face with all the deliciousness from this decadent book.
One of the first recipes in the book, is that of Helen Goh’s. The decadent Chocolate ‘O’ cookies. The chocolate ‘O’ cookie, came about by Helen setting herself a challenge of creating a cookie that could rival the infamous chocolate chip cookie at Ottolenghi. The ‘O’ is a nod to a few things, namely to Thomas Keller, whose own version of the oreo biscuit inspired the base of this biscuit, and of course the obvious ‘O’ on Ottolenghi’s shop door. The ganache made in this recipe is an absolute genius new way to make it, and at the risk of sounding clichéd , life-changing!
I thought sharing this recipe this time of year would be a great addition to all things chocolate being baked, tempered and shared! This recipe takes a while to make, but is oh so worthwhile!
Helen Goh’s Chocolate ‘O’ Cookies.
For the cookies:
- 190g unsalted butter, cubed (at room temperature)
- 130g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes (I used Maldon smoked sea salt flakes)
- 220g plain flour
- 75g cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
For the water Ganache:
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- shaved peel of 1/2 clemengold mandarin or orange
- 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 90ml boiling water
- 125g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped into 1 cm pieces
- scraped seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g liquid glucose
- 50g unsalted butter, cut into 2 cm cubes
To make the cookies, place the butter, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix with an electric mixer or stand mixer(with a paddle attachment). Beat on a medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into another bowl, reduce the speed of the mixer to low, then add the dry ingredients in two batches until a dough forms. Tip the dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth and uniform. Wrap the dough in cling film, press to form a disc, and set aside in the fridge for up to 1 hour to firm up.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/160 fan. Line two baking trays(or if you like me, have only one, then bake them in batches) with parchment and set aside. Remove the dough from the fridge 10 minutes before rolling, to make it malleable to roll. Divide the dough in half, then on a clean, lightly floured surface roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm. Using a 6cm round cookie cutter, cut out 44 circles and place them on the parchment lined tray/s. Bake for 13-15 minutes, rotating the baking tray halfway through baking. Set aside and leave to cool in the baking tray.
To make the ganache, place the cinnamon, orange peel and chilli flakes in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to infuse for 30 minutes. After the water has infusing for 20 minutes, prepare the sugar syrup. Place the chocolate, vanilla seeds and salt in a separate bowl(medium sized) and set aside. Place the sugar and glucose in a small pan and melt over a medium heat. Do this until the sugar has melted. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the caramel turns a light amber colour, this takes about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the infused water and aromatics. (Don’t worry if the sugar seizes in the pan, just return to the heat and stir until all sugar has dissolved). Return the caramel to the boil, then strain the liquid over the chocolate and vanilla; the aromatics can be discarded. Leave for 2-3 minutes until the chocolate has melted, then stir to combine.
Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring continuously one piece at a time, stirring until all butter pieces have been incorporated and the chocolate mix is smooth. Place in the fridge until the ganache is firm. Using a teaspoon, take a heaped amount of the ganache and spread onto the underside of the biscuit, spread evenly toward the edges of the biscuit using the back of the spoon, then sandwich with another biscuit and set aside. Repeat this with he remaining biscuits and ganache.
Happy Easter to all who celebrate! x