Pain au chocolat 1.0

Consider this the beginnings of my pain au chocolat adventure.  I bought 300 chocolate batons over the weekend so I’ve got plenty of runway. I started with combining two recipes. One from King Arthur Flour and one from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

INGREDIENTS

Dough
340 g of milk
50 g sugar
539 g flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
57 g unsalted butter, softened

Butter
340 g unsalted butter

Assembly
32 Chocolate batons
1 large egg + 1 yolk for egg wash

DIRECTIONS

Dough
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the water, sugar, 2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt, and butter. Mix until fairly evenly blended.

Add the remaining flour and stir until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn the dough out and knead it until it just starts to smooth out. You don’t want to over-knead it at this point, since it’s going to spend a considerable amount of time rising.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until puffy.

After an hour at room temperature, refrigerate the dough (in its covered bowl) for 8 to 16 hours; overnight is your best bet.

Butter
Just before the dough is ready to come out of the fridge, prepare the butter for rolling into the dough. Cut each of the three sticks in half lengthwise and place all six pieces on a floured piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Sprinkle flour on the top surface of the butter, cover with another piece of paper or plastic and gently pound it with a rolling pin until it becomes malleable. Then roll the butter out until it’s about 8″ x 8″.

To assemble the rolls: Remove the dough from the refrigerator, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 12″ square. Place the butter in the center of the dough at a 45° angle; it’ll look like a diamond inside the square. Fold the four flaps of dough into the center to enclose the butter, pinching them together as best you can.

Roll the dough into a 10″ x 20″ rectangle. Fold one third into the center, then the opposite third over the first, like you were folding a business letter; this is called a letter fold. Turn the dough 90°, roll it into a 10″ x 20″ rectangle again, and do another letter fold.

Wrap the dough in lightly floured plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for an hour. Remove the dough from the fridge, and give it two more letter folds: rolling, folding, turning 90°, rolling, and folding. Wrap the dough in lightly floured plastic wrap and refrigerate it again for at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours, until you’re ready to use it).

Assembly
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough out into an 8×20-inch rectangle. Use your fingers if you need to. Once again, the dough is very cold, so it will take a lot of arm muscle to roll. The dough will want to be oval shaped, but keep working it with your hands and rolling pin until you have the correct size rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, slice the dough in half vertically. Each skinny rectangle will be 4 inches wide. Then cut 3 even slices horizontally, yielding 8 4×5-inch rectangles. Cut each rectangle in half lengthwise so you have 16 2×5-inch rectangles. Work with one rectangle at a time. Using your fingers or a rolling pin, stretch it to be about 8 inches long. Do this gently as you do not want to flatten the layers. Place a few small pieces of chocolate in a single layer at one end and tightly roll the dough up around the chocolate. Make sure the end is on the bottom. Repeat with remaining dough, placing the shaped croissants on 2 lined baking sheets, 8 per sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and allow to rest at room temperature (no warmer! I suggest just keeping on the counter) for 30 minutes, then place in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour or up to 3 hours. I prefer the shaped croissants to be cold going into the oven. When you poke the dough with your finger, it will slowly bounce back. That means they are ready to be baked.

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).

Bake the croissants: Bake until croissants are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. If croissants show signs of darkening too quickly, reduce the oven to 375°F (190°C).

Remove chocolate croissants from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving. They will slightly deflate as they cool. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

 

Coffee & Chocolate Breakfast Bread

fullsizeoutput_2f38.jpegChocolate and coffee are best when shared. You just have to make a huge tear & share loaf so you have enough.

INGREDIENTS

Dough
68 g warm water
3 teaspoons yeast
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
120 g warm whole milk
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
12 tablespoons butter melted
535 g flour
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling
75g unsalted butter (very soft)
108g brown sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
pinch of salt

Frosting
2 ounces cream cheese softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk or cream to thin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Warm milk and set aside.  Melt butter and set aside.

Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir until combined and let get foamy for about 4 minutes.

Add the warm milk, salt, eggs and melted butter to the yeast mixture and mix until combined. Gradually mix in the flour, espresso powder, and cocoa powder until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Kneed into a smooth ball. Grease a large bowl and add the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl and let sit for an hour or until it has doubled.

For the filling, add the brown sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt to a bowl and mix well.

Lightly dust a surface with flour. Punch down the dough and roll it into a rectangle about 10 x 22 inches. Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly over the butter and gently push it into the butter. Beginning with the long side roll it into a tight log.

Place the log, seam side down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using scissors cut diagonal slices almost to the bottom of the log. Arrange the cut sections so that they lean to alternating sides. Gently push the dough together to help compress the log.  Immediately cover the dough and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Take the dough out from the fridge and brush with a tablespoon melted butter. Bake the bread for 20-25 minutes.

While the bread is baking, whisk the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Add milk until your reach desired consistency.

 

 

Whiskey & Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend over at Ritzy Mom blog made a version of these so I decided to make my own. Thanks for the inspiration!

INGREDIENTS

240g flour
220g  rye flour
260g butter, room temperature
250g brown sugar
150g sugar
1 ½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon whiskey
200g chopped bittersweet chocolate
125g chopped walnuts
flaked salt for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS

Add rye flour to a pan and toast it slightly.  Make sure you move it around as it will burn quickly.  Put into a bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients.

In stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add eggs one at a time and then vanilla and whiskey.

Add the flour until just combined.  Fold in the chopped chocolate chunks and nuts by hand. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment.

Using a small ice cream scoop place the cookies about two inches apart on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of flaked salt.  Cook for about 15-18 minutes.

Chocolate & Coffee Sandwich Cookies

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They are kinda like grown-up Oreos.

Cookies
190 g flour
75 g cocoa, extra dark
2 tablespoons powdered espresso
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
315 g sugar
142 g unsalted butter
1 large egg, room temperature

Filling
113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
95 g shortening
350 g powdered sugar
50 g cocoa powder, extra dark
1 tablespoon powdered espresso
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Into a medium-size bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat to combine. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture; continue beating until dough is well combined.

Measure out 15 g size drops of dough and roll them into a ball.   Place them about 2 inches apart. Flatten them with a glass to about 1/8 inch thick.  Be gentle as you peel it off the glass.

Bake until cookies are firm, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through.  I also like to drop the cookie sheet on the counter so that they deflate and crack. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until well combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, and cocoa. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, and beat to combine. Set aside in a pastry bag at room temperature until ready to use. Pipe about a teaspoon on each and flatten with cookie on top to make a sandwich.

 

 

 

Espresso and Chocolate Loaf

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Chocolate and espresso are a perfect marriage.

INGREDIENTS

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 egg, at room temperature

1 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon finely ground espresso

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups cake flour

¾ cup cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Coffee Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

½ tablespoons of milk (one at a time)

1 teaspoon finely ground espresso

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

Cream the butter until smooth with electric mixer. Add the sugars and beat for about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla.

Sift the flour, cocoa, espresso, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan.

Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, espresso, and milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until spreadable.

Drizzle over cooled loaf.

I worked with this recipe.

Chocolate Almond Raspberry Sea Salt Thumbprints


It is kinda like a candy bar,  for grown-ups.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup flour

3/4 cup almond meal

1 stick butter at room temp + 2 tablespoons for chocolate filling

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz bittersweet chocolate broken into small pieces

2 teaspoons golden syrup

2 tablespoons raspberry jam

sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour and almond meal.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand or hand mixer. Beat them together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few more seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then add the almond meal-flour mixture a little at a time. Beat just until just incorporated into the dough — don’t overmix.

Scoop teaspoon-sized balls of dough (melon scoop size) and roll them to form small balls. Place the balls about 2” apart on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Make sure you don’t press through the dough. Add a tiny dollop of raspberry jam in the center of each cookie.

Bake about 15 minutes, or until the cookies are only slightly colored around the edges; be careful to not overbake. Remove the baking sheets from oven and transfer the cookies to cooling racks.

To make chocolate filling: Using a double boiler or a small heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter, and golden syrup. Stir until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. When cookies are cool, fill the thumbprints with the chocolate, and then sprinkle with sea salt. Allow about an hour for the chocolate centers to set.

I got the recipe here.

Crostata di Cioccolato Sale e Caramello

  
Chocolate, salt, and caramel in a shortbread crust. That is perfection in any language. 

INGREDIENTS

For the Crust:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

⅔ cup powdered sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Caramel Filling:

¾ cup heavy cream

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1½ cups superfine sugar

½ cup water

½ teaspoon fleur de sel (or other flaky sea salt)

For the Chocolate Glaze:

½ cup heavy cream

5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Fleur de sel, to garnish

9″ tart pan

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make the Crust: Place the butter and sugar in a food processor and process until pale in color, about 10 seconds. Add the cocoa powder, flour, egg and vanilla and pulse until a soft dough forms (about 10 1-second pulses). Turn out into a round 9-inch tart pan and press into the bottom and up sides. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prick the dough with a fork and bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough is baked through. Set aside.
  3. Make the Caramel Filling: Place the cream and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and warm until the butter has melted; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and boil, without stirring, until dark golden and the mixture reaches 340 degrees F on a thermometer. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture (be cautious, as it will bubble up). Return the saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the fleur de sel and pour into the pastry shell. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
  5. Make the Chocolate Glaze: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer. Refrigerate until set, at least 15 minutes. Sprinkle with additional fleur de sel before serving. Leftovers should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

I got the recipe here.

Chocolate Ginger Snap Out of It Cookies

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I heard about these chocolate ginger cookies from a fellow advertising mama from Austin, TX.

INGREDIENTS

7 oz semi sweet chocolate bar, hand-chopped into 1/4 inch chunks

1 1/2 cups AP flour, plus 1 tablespoon

1 1/4 teaspoons ground dried ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, softened

1 tablespoon fresh grated (peeled) ginger

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/2 cup unsulfured molasses

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup granulated sugar or sanding sugar

DIRECTIONS

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking-soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I got the recipe here.

My Big Fat Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake

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You’ll thank me in the morning.

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream (4 ounces)
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, additional for greasing pan
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling

¾ cup Orange Marmalade

Glaze

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

This is how you make it

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 14-cup Bundt pan. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix milk and crème fraiche in a small bowl.

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add flour mixture, alternating with milk mixture, ending with flour. Spoon half the batter into the pan. Scoop teaspoons of orange marmalade trying not to go to the side. Cover with the additional cake batter. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Invert cake. Only lasts about a day.

Make the glaze: Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour over chocolate. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter and Grand Marnier, and mix until smooth. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Pour glaze over cooled cake.

Original Recipe appeared here but I altered it a bit.