One of the wonderful cookbooks I received as a gift for Christmas was Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City’s Best Pastry Shops. Prior to blogging, I have to admit, I’d never heard of Dorie Greenspan. Dorie has been called “a culinary guru” by New York times and is an award winning author who has written 9 cookbooks including Paris Sweets, Baking: From My Home to Yours, Baking with Julia: Savor the Joys of Baking with America’s Best Bakers and, more recently, Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.
Paris Sweets is a beautiful collection of recipes from the based on Dorie’s time in Paris visiting the best pastry shops who she somehow managed to convince to part with some of their prized recipes for the book. One of the things I love about the book is the detailed instructions, information on how long each item can be kept for once cooked, freezing instructions and gorgeous illustrations. Detailed instructions are so important in cookbooks and sometimes, no matter how beautiful the book is, I sometimes find the instructions rushed or lacking, which is the last thing you want when you are part way through a complicated recipe.
The first recipe I decided to cook from Paris Sweets was Korova Cookies/Sablés Korova which is a recipe adapted from Pierre Hermé. These delicious double chocolate cookies were so easy to make, and I love that the cookie dough can be made in advance and frozen until you need it knowing that your are only 12 minutes away from a delicious homemade double chocolate cookie. Perfect for when unexpected guests arrive.
There are so many wonderful recipes in Paris Sweets I can see it will become my new favourite cookbook, along with Donna Hay’s Seasons. What is your current favourite cookbook?
- 175g of plain flour
- 3og of Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- 150 grams of unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 120g of brown sugar
- 50g of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of fluer de sel (I used Maldon as I had run out of fluer de sel)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 150g of bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits
- Put the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment fitted and beat on a medium speed until the butter is creamy.
- Add the brown and white sugars, salt and vanilla extract and beat for a couple of minutes.
- Reduce the mixer to a low speed and sift in the flour, cocoa and baking soda and beat until combined. Note the mixture will look crumbly, but this is normal.
- Turn the mixture our onto some cling film and squeeze the dough into a ball and then divide into tow. Form each ball into a log and wrap up in cling film and put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven for 165 degrees celsius or 325 farenheit and move an oven rack to the center of the oven.
- With a sharp knife slice the logs into rounds about 1.5cm or ½ an inch thick. If the cookies break when sliced just squash them back together again. Place each cookie onto a non-stick baking tray or baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake each cookie for 12 minutes. Note that the cookies will not look cooked, but they will firm when they cool.