I have taken a long hiatus from here but it was not planned. Unlike most, devoting a period to relaxation and food enlightenment; mine was about all about working. Leaving before the sunrises , coming home when the sun sets, five to six days a week takes a toll on a girl and her food blog. Sure I could pretend to be relaxed and seriously proud of another same- same recipe but that is not me. Every time I post I feel that I should be proud to call it my work and say with complete confidence ” I didn’t half ass it”. So I extend my thanks and say my sincerest apologies to my readers. I hope things will settle down soon and I will be able to share more of what I have been brain storming. Even though the days are hard, I really enjoyed working hard and been allowed an inside look at “kitchen politics”
Life as a pastry cook is not glamorous nor for the faint hearted. The money hungry or ego driven turn away now because this job can not give you satisfaction. I have seen the result of this when people soon discover that they can not handle the heat and pressure. Walk outs ( I mean walking out in the middle of a shift) and arguments make for a very dramatic work place. Great in a television series not in a business; however the show must go on for the people who stick it out.
I might have only got into the pastry career this year but the experience you gain in a very short period is so valuable. So cliche but it is true.
Also!!! On a lighter note the guns of steel that pump up are amazing! I started out with no muscle arms but now I have a little friend which sits on my upper arm and a few other buddies on my fore arms. This is what happens when you carry 15kg loads everyday, several times a day. No wonder you never have to go to the gym if you work in a bakery even if you eat pastries everyday. Shhh… do not tell my doctor.
These cookies are the idea that sweet salty desserts do not have involve caramel. I love my caramel lollies, brownies and sauce but when you have it on everything it loses it charm. It could also spark madness (vegemite and chocolate anyone?)
Matching classic melt in the mouth cocoa sable with the herbal edge of a creamy white chocolate green tea ganache takes old school pastry to the 21st century. A sprinkle of black sea salt not only makes a beautiful contrast but allows for ganache to achieve a balance of savoury. Black sea salt may be new to a lot of you while it is used to create visual effect the salt is quite mellow compared to white sea salt.
If I have any advice for you when making the cookies, try to pipe in small batches. It makes it easier and neater also your piping bag will not pop six times. Be temped not to leave them in oven for more than the recommended time because while they may seem soft they harden up lot on cooling. Also they will lose their melt in mouth quality which makes them so worth all the butter.
Be careful when making the ganache because you want to keep it as silky as possible. This stir confidently, gently and from the middle out. This will means it stays smooth and will not seize under the temp change.
Even in sweets you can achieve a balance of bitter, sweet, savoury and acidity. I admit it might sound like I am talking bullshit here but desserts now a days need to have more than just a sweet. We have become our own worst enemy; damn so much tasty food these days. Give your taste buds an experience, try my Dark Chocolate Sable with Black Salt Green Tea Ganache
Dark Chocolate Sable with Black Salt Green Tea Ganache
Makes 28 cookies
Cookies from Pierre Hermes
230g plain flour
40g corn flour
40g dutched cocoa
250g soften unsalted butter
100g icing sugar
3 egg whites
Green tea ganache
500g white chocolate
1tbsp matcha powder
Black sea salt flakes
Roasted black and white sesame seeds (optional)
Pre heat oven to 180C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
Sieve the flour, corn flour and cocoa. Set aside
In a stand mixer with the beater attachment, cream the butter to light and fluffy. This will take about 4 mintues. After sieve in the icing sugar and carefully increase the speed on the stand mixer to combine with the butter. This final mixture should be almost white and very fluffy by the end.
Beat in egg whites to combine. After on a low speed add flour, corn flour and cocoa mixture until just combined to a soft dough.
Fit a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Place some of the dough into the piping bag and pipe 2 to 3 small star dots next to each other on the baking tray. This makes one half of a cookie. Repeat with all the dough. Bake in oven for 10-12 mintues. Leave them to harden on the tray until completely cool.
At this time prepare the ganache. In small sauce pan bring cream to the boil. Pour cream slowly in to the white chocolate while stirring at the same time to emulsify the two. Keep stir until combined. Stir in green tea powder until complete combined. Set aside in fridge to set.
Once ganache is firm spread a small amount on the flat side of one cookie. Sprinkle with black salt or roasted sesame seeds. Pair up with another one and press together to form one cookie. Store in a air tight container.