I once baked heart-shaped chocolate shortbreads for my sweetie at the time. The cookies were a recipe of my own invention — crisp, crumbly, seasoned with sea salt and near-black cocoa powder, and utterly delicious.
Or so I thought. But when I watched him bite down, his face drooped ever so slightly. Disappointment was as evident as the brown crumbs on his white T-shirt.
“These are great,” he said weakly, “I was just thinking they were going to be softer.”
The cookies were crunchy. They were sophisticated. But they were not luscious. And sometimes when it comes to chocolate, nothing but luscious will do.
I’ve learned my lesson since then. These days, when I’m making chocolate confections, I let luscious be the beacon, choosing rich, creamy, dense and buttery over anything delicate and refined.
Then I try to cram as much chocolate into my recipe as possible.
There are ways to increase the chocolate content of any recipe without having to redo the whole thing. The easiest is to use extra bittersweet chocolate (64 to 74 percent cocoa solids), rather than semisweet or milk chocolate, or the usual bittersweet. The result is a dessert with a deeper chocolate flavor that’s slightly less sweet.
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