I've been meaning to master sables. Or at least have a go at them. I've had so many yummy desserts lately that have involved Sables Breton. But they're for another day. Remember I said I had about a hundred zillion cookery books? Well, this baking journey meant that I had to invest in just a couple more and I was really excited when Edd Kimber's Patisserie Made Simple arrived the other day. The photo of yummy Chocolate Sables jumped out at me and I knew they would be the first recipe to try. It would also involve tempering chocolate and until now that's kind of scared me. But no more! A great result on my very first attempt. Thanks, Edd :)
The trickiest part of this recipe for me was rolling the dough into uniform logs when the dough was kind of crumbly which meant that I didn't quite achieve Edd's 4cm thick logs and they ended up being nearer 7cm which I only realised when I was ready to cut them up into the individual biscuits. Of course, being me, I needed them to be more precise and armed with the smallest cutter I have (5cm) I used this to make them neater and all the same size.
The chocolate tempering went very smoothly. The only bit that had me unsure was after the initial temperature of 50 degrees had been achieved, I had to stir constantly until the temperature dropped to 28 degrees and I'd assumed this would be quick. Aha, not so! It took about 15 minutes but with a little patience it all worked out well.
These little biscuits are very rich so I decided to sprinkle them with chopped hazelnuts to cut through some of the intense chocolate flavour and for me, this worked really well. Hubby thinks they'd be good with ice-cream. Hmmm...looks like dessert tonight is sorted :)
Chocolate Sables (recipe from Edd Kimber's Patisserie Made Simple)
275g PLAIN FLOUR
40g COCOA POWDER
3/4 tsp BICARBONATE OF SODA
200g UNSALTED BUTTER AT ROOM TEMPERATURE
50g CASTER SUGAR
100g LIGHT SOFT BROWN SUGAR
1/2 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
175 g DARK CHOCOLATE, 65-70% COCOA SOLIDS PREFERRED, ROUGHLY CHOPPED
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and 1½ teaspoons salt together into a medium bowl and stir to combine. Set aside. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and light. Add the sugars and vanilla extract and beat together for 2 minutes until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and with the mixer on low speed, mix together until the mixture is sandy. Add the chocolate and mix to combine.The final dough should look like soil and should not be over-beaten. Tip the mixture onto the work surface and very gently knead to bring together. Divide the dough in half and roll into logs, about 4cm in diameter. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees | 160 degrees fan and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Using a thin sharp knife, cut the log into cookies about 1cm thick - don’t worry if the cookies crumble, just press them gently back together. Place onto the prepared baking trays and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they have spread and are lightly set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
The amount of chocolate you start with will make the same amount of tempered chocolate. I used 150g roughly chopped dark chocolate (it should be good quality chocolate and have been stored in a cool place - I used 85% cocoa solids but you can use your own favourite chocolate here).
Put 3/4 of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set this over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stirring regularly, heat the chocolate to 50-55 degrees (this is the temp for dark chocolate; milk and white chocolate are different). Then remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring constantly until the temperature drops to 28-29 degrees. Return the bowl to the heat and stirring constantly, heat again until the temperature increases to 31-32 degrees. The chocolate should now be tempered. Drop a little bit onto baking parchment and let it set for a couple of minutes. If no streaks appear, you are good to go! If you do see streak, you will have to start again :(
Now that the biscuits are cool, dip them into the chocolate and then sprinkle on a little of whatever you fancy!