David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Finally got hold of David Lebovitz’s Ready for Dessert. I am baking what many would love – chocolate chip cookies – and I’m splurging today, by using Valrhona’s bittersweet chocolate! This is an indulgence definitely but I’m baking for my dear hubs who loves CCC and it’s all worth it!

I’m baking this using pecans and bittersweet chocolate. DL has recommended 10 minutes for the baking time for soft CCC and I did just that for my first batch. The second batch is in the refrigerator now and according to him and many other bakers, the dough improves with resting for at least 24 hours before baking. And for the subsequent batch, I want it crispier and would bake for a longer time.

  

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Tonkatsu with fruit and nut quinoa salad

I suddenly had a craving for Tonkatsu, actually more because I have run out of ideas to cook and also wanted a fuss-free meal. The thought of cooking Tonkatsu came when I saw the box of Panko on the shelf while doing my grocery.

Commonly, Tonkatsu is served with cabbage and tomato wedges. I thought it would not be substantial for the hubs and since I’ve just purchased a box of quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), decided to accompany the meat with a fruit and nut quinoa salad. The latter is also a dish that I have missed out on preparing for one of FFWD’s dishes. I didn’t know what quinoa was then and couldn’t find it in the supermarket that I frequent. Today, I chanced upon it!

Quinoa was a staple of the ancient Incas, who called it “the mother grain”. It remains an important staple in South American cuisine, as it contains more protein than most other grains. Its delicate flavour makes it a great alternative to rice or couscous as a side dish, and can be added to vegetables and meat as a main dish.

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FFWD: Tourteau de chevre

I confess I’m not good with cheeses. In fact, I only count the common cheeses – cream cheese, mascarpone, cheddar, Gruyere, Parmesan –  as friends. All the others are perfect stranger to me. Imagine the agony that I go through when I have to purchase a type of cheese which I am not familiar with; I spent a long time at the counter and asking within me, “Where on earth is xxxx?”

For FFWD this week (yes, I’m on time! Finally!), goat cheese is used. All right, I know this is quite a common cheese but yours truly has no clue but I thought it is a good chance to get acquainted with this new friend.

Tourteau de chevre, according to Dorie, is a cheesecake of sorts and that the cheese was chevre, goat cheese. Unlike the usual American cheesecake we so commonly eat, this is not soft, creamy, moist or even rich. Instead, it’s a fairly dry cake (like a sponge cake, and the hubs thought it smells like butter cake) that you cut into wedges and eat out of hand.

The special thing about this cake is that the bottom is made of tart dough and then top it up with chevre batter, making it different from the cheesecake that we are familiar with.

Something that baffled me. The batter was to be put into a 400F oven for 15 minutes and subsequently the temperature to be reduced to 350F and the batter baked for another 35 minutes. A dark brown , cracked top is what you want to see in the end. For mine, Not only does it not crack, it doesn’t achieve the dark brown status even though I have put in an extra 30 minutes!

Nonetheless, the cake turns out fine. I wasn’t a great supporter of goat cheese (not yet) and prefer the usual cheesecake that I consume. Friends like it though and that’s more important.

Join us for French Fridays with Dorie!