Friday, April 9, 2010

Bouchons and Ribbons

Here it is Friday again and I have found a way to combine two of my favorite things-shopping and chocolate ! Maybe I should call this Shopaholic Friday instead of Chocoholic Friday.
The good news is the "Terrible Storm" never really materialized-it came in the night while we were sleeping and barely woke anyone. I think that was very considerate. And since the weather turned out to be so lovely on Thursday I ventured out to one of my favorite stores in West Seattle, Northwest Art and Frame.

Now don't let the name fool you -it is full of artist's materials and they do amazing custom framing. I speak from experience-they framed an antique print of Paris for me a few years back and did an exceptional job. But I digress, what the name of the store doesn't tell you is this store is better than Martha Stewart meets Donna Hay ! You can find lotions,candles,cards,place settings,little tiny bird's nests,books,children's stuffed teddy bears and frogs ! Beautiful wrapping papers,gorgeous construction papers in wonderful pastel hues -I can go on an on -really truly it is an artist's nirvana.

I went in search of ribbons yesterday and as usual they did not disappoint. If you are looking for unusual ribbons in many colors and textures and materials this is the place for you. I confess,sometimes I just go in and buy the ribbons because they are so pretty-I have nothing in mind when I buy them but something always develops once I have them ! Plan on spending some time here,as you wander the aisles and inspect the displays you find little treasures hidden around every corner. I found everything in my photos for this post today during my wanderings in the store. Except for the Bouchons.

Ahhh, the Bouchons-I remember when I first discovered them-sweet little brownie like kisses. I must have spent hours that day reading about Thomas Keller and his restaurants and cookbooks and THE BOUCHONS. I love petite desserts-one or two tiny bites and it's gone. But the flavor and memory of the taste never leave. They are little baby surprises for your mouth and senses. I could bake these everyday and never tire of them,but alas J, my taste taster would chase me out of the kitchen for adding to his waistline and increasing his treadmill time ! So I make them every few weeks, little week-end treats for us and only us-sorry today Chocoholic Friday is for my love and myself. You can join us by making your own sweet little Bouchons.

I found the molds I use for these at another favorite store Williams Sonoma, you can order them here . They make a wonderful gift for your favorite baker !
Enjoy Chocoholic Friday !

Chocolate Bouchons
adapted from“Bouchon
by Thomas Keller

Makes 24-30 Bouchons\
Butter and flour for timbale molds
3 ½ ounces (3/4 cup) all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ cup plus 3 tbs granulated sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
24 tbs unsalted butter, melted and just slightly warm
6 oz semisweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Equitoriale (55%) chopped into pieces the
size of chocolate chips-yes you can cheat and use the miniature Nestle semi sweet chips !
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Special equipment : 2-ounce Fleximolds or 3-ounce timbale molds or the Williams Sonoma Bouchon Molds
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour twelve timbale molds-I used a very light coating of Baker's Joy on my molds. 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, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick and very pale in color. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, 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 chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can get refrigerated for up to a day.)

Put the 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 molds and let cool upside down in the molds; then lift off the molds. Bouchons are best eaten the day they are baked-just not in one sitting-trust me you will be tempted !
To serve: Invert the bouchons and dust them with confectioners’ sugar.


bellini valli said...

I could spend an entire morning at Williams and Sonoma. I found one when I was in San Francisco so was quite happy for a while. The frame shop sounds like a treasure too.

Tania said...

Shopping and chocolate is a great combination!
These bouchons are wonderful!