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Chocolate Bouchons

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Bouchon-1---WM

Santa was good to me this year, I must have been a very good boy.  My brother and his wife were good to me too.  For Christmas, they bought me Bouchon Bakery's snappy new "chocolate bouchon" kit from Williams-Sonoma.  For those of you uninitiated to the joys of the chocolate bouchon to which I am referring, they are yet another brainchild of Thomas Keller, and are famously sold at both his bakeries and restaurants that bear their name.  Think of the ultimate 2-bite brownie and you pretty much have the idea of the thing.  Named, and shaped after the French word for "cork", they are nothing short of magnificent little chocolate bombs, especially good when still slightly warm from the oven.  The kit includes enough mix to make about 18 of the suckers, and a silicone mold in which to cook them.  Joy to the World.....

We made our first batch of bouchons while skiing over Christmas break, and they were universally applauded by the adults and kids alike.  They are very rich, and made with so much cocoa powder and semi-sweet chips that they turn out almost black in color (see photo above).  If you don't like your chocolate deep and dark, then bouchons are not for you, sorry.....you can go now.

Having eaten through our "kit" batch of little bombs in a heartbeat, I turned to the recipe that comes with the silicone mold (thankfully, you are not forced to return to Willams-Sonoma for the pre-made mix every time you want to make them).  The thing was though, the recipe that came with the mold looked wildly different than the one that came with the mix, it didn't look like the same recipe at all.  Boo Hoo.

I immediately scoured the internet and found that I wasn't the only one to discover this.  The recipe on the mold box will not yield bouchons even close to what you get from Keller himself.  Good news is, his recipe is available in the Bouchon Cookbook, and is the one we used to make our second batch, and while not identical to what is in the pre-made mix, yields awesome bouchons.  Even better news, the mix yields only 18, this from scratch recipe yields a full 24 of the tasty little buggers!!!!

When we made these from scratch, the batter came out a little "tighter", and resulted in a firmer bouchon.  I attribute this fact to our making the "kit" version by hand, and using my standing mixer to craft the "from scratch" recipe.  I'm afraid in doing so, I may have over mixed the batter.  While the flavor was identical between the two batches, I preferred the texture of the "kit" batch, and will therefor be mixing our next batch by-hand, without the assistance of a machine.  I'll return to this post and let you know what I discover.  Either way you choose to go, this recipe will deliver incredibly tasty results.  Enjoy!

Recipe:

Chocolate Bouchons

Adapted from: Thomas Keller "Bouchon"

(Print Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (vahlrona is what we use)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 tablespoons (12 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and just slightly warm
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (Vahlrona or Ghirardelli will work nicely), chopped into pieces the size of chocolate chips
  • Confectioner's sugar

Note: Bouchon uses 2-ounce Fleximolds, which is the size of the molds from Williams-Sonoma. He says you can also use 3-ounce fleximolds.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour, or spray the molds with baking spray. Set aside.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in another large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until very pale in color. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed (or by hand), add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then one-third of the butter, and continue alternating with the remaining flour and butter. Add the chopped chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to a day.)

Put the bouchon molds on a baking sheet. Place the batter in a pastry bag without a tip, or with a large plain tip, and fill each mold about two-thirds full. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When the tops look shiny and set (like a brownie), test one cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick: It should come out clean but not dry (there may be some melted chocolate from the chopped chocolate). Transfer the bouchons to a cooling rack. After a couple of minutes, invert the timbale molds and let the bouchons cool upside down in the molds; then lift off the molds. (The bouchons are best eaten the day they are baked.)

TO SERVE: Invert the bouchons and dust them with confectioners' sugar. Serve with ice cream, if desired.

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"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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