Chocoholics from near and far have been flocking to Jacques Torres’ renowned chocolate shops in Manhattan’s TriBeCa and Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhoods for years — and for good reason. The French chocolatier gained famed while serving as the revered Pastry Chef at NYC’s Le Cirque restaurant and has been featured on numerous TV shows including PBS and the Food Network. Torres serves as a master chef and dean of pastry arts at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, where he teaches.
Jacques Torres has his own stores overflowing with the finest chocolate confections you could ever find – his specialties include everything from upscale champagne truffles to rich chocolate-filled croissants and “secret” chocolate chip cookies. Lucky for you, I found Torres’ Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe, published in the NY Times a few years ago. What makes these cookies special is the combination of bread flour and pastry flour and the use of expensive, fine dark chocolate. The oversized cookies come out with gooey, moist centers and crispy, crackled tops sprinkled with sea salt for that extra punch.
I have made this mouth-watering cookies numerous times and it is truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever found. I guarantee once you try it the Torres way, you won’t go back! Keep reading for the secret recipe…
Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (you can buy the original Jacques Torres disks online here)
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; If you cannot find them, use Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, which are sold at Whole Foods.