Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stop 5. Massachusetts Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake - the first disaster?

While Massachusetts is typically known for desserts involving cranberries and Boston Creme Pie, Brown decided to honor the home of the original chocolate chip cookie by making it into a cake.  The story of the chocolate chip cookie is that back in the day, Ruth Wakefield, proprietress of the Toll House Bed and Breakfast in Whitman, Mass., ran out of Baker's chocolate when preparing dessert for her guests and substituted it with chunks of semisweet chocolate, I assume thinking they would melt into the cookies.  When they were baked, they hadn't melted completely, but maintained their chocolate blob shape in the cookie.  Boom, chocolate chip cookies were born and the world would never be the same.

So, Brown devised a recipe that makes two large cake-like cookies and fills them with chocolate icing.  Nothing wrong with that at all.  

This stop on the trip was a bit of an extra adventure for me because I've been sick all week with a combination of tuberculosis, pneumonia, the black plague, and whooping cough (I am very rational when I get sick; I get it from my dad), so this is the first thing I've done that has actually involved my getting off the couch (I walked all the way to the grocery store!  All 30 feet!).  It also was an experience in hand-washing.  My hands are VERY clean.  And VERY dry...

To begin I am going to say that my cookie cakes do not look like Warren Brown's cookie cakes.  His look like cakes, with chocolate chips in them.  Mine look like really big cookies.  I'm not complaining; who would complain about really big cookies?  

So, to start I made the batter, which was a pretty basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, though with very little liquid.  The batter came up very crumbly, which I guess was expected.  Before folding the chocolate chips into the batter, I was supposed to toss them in two tablespoons of the liquid mixture and then 1/4 cup of the dry mixture.  I assume this was to coat the chips to keep them from sinking, or melting too much, or really I have no idea what the purpose was, but I did it.  This recipe also called for shortening, which I hardly ever use because of my love for my arteries, but I'm trying to learn how to follow directions.  I imagine the shortening helps the cookie keep its shape rather than all butter which would spread too fast and cook too quickly.  Again, I'm making things up here.

The icing is also much more like a ganache than I expected.  Cream and sugar are brought to a simmer and then poured over bittersweet chocolate, butter and vanilla.  Then you whisk it until smooth and wait for it to thicken.  From the picture in the book, I was expecting something a lot lighter.  Regardless, chocolate, cream and butter, again - who's complaining?  Brown also said to set it aside until it thickens, but he didn't say how long it would take.  I literally had to leave it all day until it got thick enough to even spread and mildly stay in place and it wasn't until I put it in the fridge that it really solidified (the recipe said specifically not to put it in the refrigerator, I was packing the leftovers away.)  After a night in the fridge it definitely has the right consistency and tastes good.

Unfortunately, my cakes really just came out like really big cookies (as I mentioned above), which is fine, but they don't have the least bit of a cake-like consistency and are really hard to cut.  They didn't spread as much as they should and I had to cook them for much longer than it said.  Maybe I should have pulled them out after 24 minutes, but they were barely cooked...

What mine looked like.
What it looked like in the picture in the book.

I think this is going down as the first mishap on the road trip.  I will try it again and see what different results I get. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I love cookies, and those look pretty overwhelming. Take two looks much more delicious!