Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TWD - Chocolate Chunkers

Regrettably, I missed last week's Tuesdays with Dorie. I was travelling briefly with my family. And, to be honest, I can't stand Whoppers. So, I was only disappointed in that I missed cooking something with the TWD crowd.

This week's recipe is Chocolate Chunkers. Chosen by Claudia of Fool for Food.

I wasn't going to miss this week's! The recipe sounded quite good. Although, at first glance, it didn't really sound like a cookie to me. Not enough flour ... and molten chocolate in the dough ... huh?

Hmmm ... as in the past, I forged onward ignoring my initial thoughts. TWD is about us all making the same thing and seeing how they turn out (hopefully, well).


I followed the directions found in Baking by Dorie Greenspan. Well, not perfectly.

Instead of sifting the base dry ingredients, I just whisked them.

And, instead of melting the butter and half of the chocolate in a double-boiler, I just nuked them. Separately, of course, as each take different times to melt and I didn't want the butter to separate before the chocolate even got close to melting.

Oh, and lastly, I cheated on the chocolate and nut ingredients. I had some left over chocolate chips from other baking. And, I had a 250g bag of white chocolate chips I was saving for something interesting. I thought this was interesting enough. And, I used the remnants of some cashews, walnuts, and raisins that I'd had.

In other words, I improvised a bit to use up some of what was lying about. Clear the pantry of the old stuff, so-to-speak.

I used a pair of soup spoons to scoop the batter (I hesitate to call the stuff a "dough") onto my parchment-lined half-sized baking sheets. This worked really well with the sticky, gooey, chunky mess.

I was very careful this time with the cooking. I didn't want another episode of Burning with Dorie. Thing is, my first batch, I nearly did! I came back from setting up my food camera at exactly 12 minutes into the cooking. I thought "oh no! Even on parchment, that batter is going to make a horrible mess!"

Fortunately, that was the perfect time! A little cooling time on the racks and all was good!

Test Results

Primary Test Group: Marasa! Delicious, show us how to make them! Where did you learn?

Test Group C: "Time to be quiet, I'm eating."

Test Group M: "Prefer the delicious chocolate chip. Not a fan of raisins or all chocolate cookies and cakes."


I wasn't really a big fan of these. Yes, they were good. But, they promised "cookie" ... and they weren't really a cookie. They were more of a confection.

I like cookies that have chocolate in them, not cookies that are chocolate. If I want a candy bar or a flavor-filled piece of chocolate, I'll buy one of those.

When something promises "cookie" ... it should deliver.

My personal disappointment aside, I'm glad I baked these. First, the appreciation of the Primary Test Team. They devoured their samples immediately. Rabid, starving wolverines show more hesitation when eating than the testers did. In fact, I hid the samples intended for Teams C and J to ensure I could deliver.

I'd never baked this kind of item before. Yes, lots of cookies, cakes, etc. But, nothing with molten chocolate in the batter like this. An interesting twist.

And, lastly, I'm happy to have participated along with the other TWD bakers. I'm having fun ...


Nancy/n.o.e said...

James, you didn't miss anything by not making the Whopper cookies last week. I dislike Whoppers also, and while the cookies were surprisingly free of the worst of the Whopper malt and crunch, they weren't an earthshaking chocolate cookie either. imo, of course!

I hear where you're coming from on the Chocolate Chunkers, but I did like them. I made a few tiny changes to make them more like a cookie, though (mostly reduced the quantity of the stir-ins so there would be more dough; also added a bit more butter). They are intensely chocolate-y, to be sure.

TWD is fun, I agree. And the Dimply Plum Cake is divine (made it last evening). The cardamom made it.

Natasha said...

These seem interesting. I'm waiting for the verdict from your other two test groups.

LD said...

i took the same clearing-the-pantry approach too. we liked them, but i'm getting a bit tired of chocolate cookies and look forward to next week's recipe!

MacDuff said...

It's kind of interesting - they are a confection, not really a cookie. And yeah, they're a little pricey to risk burning, huh? But they're great to take into the office...

Sandy Smith said...

These were more than your average "cookie." Actually, last week's Whopper Drops were pretty darn good in that dept. The malt powder worked some kind of magic in the cookie part, and the texture was cakey and dense for days - delicious, really. I used Peanut Butter Whoppers to avoid the chocolate overload, and to be honest, I don't think they tasted very "Whoppery." They melted down to a texture almost like that of toffee bits. Nice.

Looking forward to a break from chocolate, actually. (Is that heretical?)

Jules Someone said...

Sorry you weren't a bigger fan. I like a little more cookie in my cookie as well.

James said...

Nancy: Thanks. I'm looking forward to the cake, too. Not sure I can get plums here without having them flown in ... so, think I'll use mango.

natasha: The two missing test groups liked them very much.

Lori: Ah, yes, I'm a bit tired on the chocolate front, too. Glad I'm not alone in that!

macDuff: I'm sure your office loved them ...

Sandy: Not heretical at all! Contrary to popular belief, chocolate is NOT holy. Pizza is.

Jules: no worries. It's nice trying out all these different recipes. Some good, some bad. C'est la vie!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Oh, yes, pizza is indeed sacred!

James said...

This weekend, I'm headed to Manila. Before I go, I'm going go to put some pepperoni-to-be in the fridge to cure.

That means pizza next week. :)

Pamela said...

Sorry you weren't a fan. I've made a few things that I wouldn't do again, and I'm glad for the experience. The cookies looked great, though!

Liz said...

Yes, these had more in common with some brownie batters than with most cookie recipes, but since I'm in the "more is more" camp of chocolate consumption, that didn't bother me too much. Ah well, onward and upward!

James said...

Pamela: No worries. With each recipe we cook, I learn something new. That's what I like about this whole process.

Liz: More is more ... love that. Can I steal it?

Bungalow Barbara said...

You're right, these were more like a candy than a cookie. That's why I liked them so much! Sorry you didn't like them, but glad they pleased at least some of your test groups!

I'd love to hear more about your "test groups," by the way. How old are they (kids or grown-ups), how many in the group, what sort of food/ethnic/eating background do they have? And, does "marasa" have an exact meaning or is it just an all-purpose word for "good?"

James said...

Barbara, good point ... I'll start a Cast of Characters and Glossary post. Keep it up-to-date.

Look for it soon.