I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Fanny’s Foodbeam blog lately, and when I needed a straightforward chocolate dessert for dinner with Mini-me’s cousins tonight, I thought I’d check her archives. Sure enough, there were these great looking Chocolate Sable Cookies with Fleur De Sel. Fanny warns that they might induce some form of rage but it was a chance I was willing to take. Boy am I glad I did, they are superbly chocolatey and the salt provides a subtle counterpoint. I used my favorite Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt) sea salt, and Guittard bittersweet chocolate. And as a bonus, this solved a little mystery for me. 20+ years ago when I lived at the Green Gulch Zen Center and Farm in Marin County, we used to make a little mocha cookie that I loved. I tried to figure out the recipe years later and never quite hit on it. Now I realize that it was a sable technique, with the sandy texture from the sugar and no egg or liquid to dissolve it. (Sable is from the French word Sablee which means sandy). I’ll have to make these again with an espresso flavor and see if it is close. Another nice bonus about the eggless recipe: you know you can safely eat the dough and let your kids lick the spoon! Be sure and follow her advice to take them out before they actually look done, they firm up a lot as they cool and this is a case where the flavor is coming from the chocolate, you aren’t trying to caramelize the sugars.
And by the way props to Fanny for providing the recipe by weight, that makes it go so quickly and accurately. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, here’s a digital one that we own and I get much use out of. It is small enough to live on your counter, but big enough to weigh up to 2 Kg / 4.4 pounds, and accurate to the gram. If you do have one, I want to make sure you know the trick for working quickly with it. Let’s say you need 100g of flour, 40g of sugar, and 50g of cocoa powder mixed together. Turn on the scale with its bowl and pour in flour until you hit 100g. Leaving the flour in the bowl, "tare" the scale (reset it to read 0). On the scale I mentioned above that is a simple click of a button. Pour in sugar until it reads 40g. Tare again and add the cocoa until you reach 50g. Fast, spot-on, and no dirty meassuring cups!
Totally unrelated note. How great is the Pacific Northwest? In Seattle I can play golf, and kind of hope I fade my ball a bit to the right along the fenceline, so I get to eat handfuls of perfectly ripe blackberries while I wait for my partners to take their second shots!