If there is one thing I love to shop for even more so than kitchen paraphernalia or food, it is shoes. My love for shoes even rivals that of my many other loves such as gelato and chocolate. If I had the financial means I would probably even consider starting my own shoe blog; for me more reasons to go and buy shoes is an extremely good thing. G knows all too well that it only requires the slightest rationalisation and I will be off on an unabashed shoe spree. Grounds for shoe shopping can range from the sensible- “I need new shoes because my old ones are beset with holes”, to the slightly imprudent- “Oh look, shoe sale! Let’s check it out!” to the utterly impulsive- “I must have those shoes, now!” This must be why I don’t own a house, I’ve “shoed” all my money away.
I write of my shoe obsession, I mean devotion as that I foresee the very same fate with cookies, however this fanaticism with cookies will be a lesser financial threat than say this shoe habit. My insatiable appetite for shoes and now cookies has the capacity to leave devastating effects on both my waist and my wallet. I am slowly shopping and eating my way into financial ruin! Oh well, I guess you only live once, and I live by the maxim that it is better to have shopped and gone broke, than to never have shopped at all. The same should go for cookies.
I was browsing several food blogs during some downtime at work and came upon this post for Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies, and like that new pair of Chloé d’Orsay pumps I've been coveting, I just had to have those cookies. Luckily, having them did not involve handing over hundreds of dollars to the surly ladies behind those habitually unmanned counters at David Jones; it’s a mystery, but it’s as if they were intentionally discouraging you from buying anything. Anyway, indulging in these cookies is well within one’s grasp and I suppose it can still be equated to shopping for expensive shoes without the "expensive" part becoming a hindrance . For one, both cookies and shoes require health warnings before undertaking. Trust me navigating your way through a crowded thoroughfare in very pretty, yet incapacitating shoes can be hazardous, not only to you but also to the people around you. Secondly, they both are potentially guilt-inducing, because of the fact that thirdly, they are terribly addictive and you can’t stop at just one.
These cookies are undeniably moreish, chocolate ganache sandwiched between two sables is a perfect concoction for bliss. My last outing with sables came about during an insomnia-ridden state of angst. The outcome although tasty, was disappointing and served the lone purpose of averting the self-induced insanity that mid-dawn shifts tend to bring about. Now that I am in a more serene and slumber-filled state I was prepared to give these sables another crack.
I used a recipe for sables from Melbourne restaurateur Shannon Bennett’s cookbook My Vue. The book is a great collection of both traditional and modern French cuisine. He also shares his experiences while working at Michelin rated restaurants all over Europe and his journey to becoming one of the youngest chefs at the helm of his very own restaurant Vue de Monde. Here is the recipe.
(makes about 50 biscuits)
from this book
450g plain all purpose flour
50g cornflour or cornstarch
400 butter, diced and at room temperature
200 confectioner’s (icing) sugar
4 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 160°C. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and cornflour into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the butter and sugar.
Work together with your fingertips until no hard lumps remain.
Add the egg yolks and salt, drawing in the flour. Work until the dough resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Do not over work the dough.
Roll the pastry into a log and refrigerate for two hours.
Remove from fridge and carefully roll the dough out to a thickness of about 6mm. Cut out desired shapes using a cookie cutter.
Place on lined baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until just golden on the edges.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack and cool completely before spreading ganache.
100ml pure cream
100g bittersweet chocolate
In a saucepan heat the cream until just before boiling.
Pour cream over chocolate in a separate bowl, stand for 1 minute allowing the heat of the cream to slowly melt the chocolate.
Using a spatula mix cream and chocolate until a smooth and glossy mixture ensues.
Place somewhere to cool, uncovered at room temperature then transfer to refrigerator to slightly set.