Chocolate Mint Nightcaps

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I have come to the realization that I am in love with chocolate and mint combination, I know, have woken up late. May be I should stock up my cupboard with After Eight, for when I have post-dinner sweet cravings, I can tuck away a piece or two.

So I looked through my baking bible, Baking with Julia (by Dorie Greenspan) and decided to make Marcel Desaulniers’ Chocolate Mint Nightcaps. He is apparently the self-described Guru of Ganache and when I saw his recipe to making the perfect ganache, I wasn’t at all surprised. I also realized that all this while, I have been doing the wrong thing with ganache.

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For the silkiest chocolate ganache, boil the cream, take it off heat and then add then add the chopped chocolate. In my experience, it is ten times better than boiling cream and chocolate together over a double boiler.

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Crispy cocoa cookies are sandwiched together with mint-infused chocolate ganache. Then a squiggle of chocolate ganache is piped over each cookie to give it a nightcappish appearance. For little mint feathers, I stuck a mint leaf to the ganache.

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One bite and there is this explosion of chocolate in your mouth – the crisp cookies break into this chocolate velvet with subtle hints of mint and that’s exactly what I call an untainted chocolate high.

Ingredients

For ganache

  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 360 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped

For cookies

  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) cake flour (1 ¼ all-purpose flour + 2 tbsp corn flour)
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 226 g (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Makes about 30 cookies sandwiches

Method

  • Line 5 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, bring cream and chopped mint to the boil. Pour through sieve into the bowl of chopped chocolate. Combine gently with a rubber spatula and allow it to rest.
  • Pour the ganache on a baking sheet. Spread it with a spatula towards the sides of the sheet. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 C. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes until creamy in low speed. Beat for another minute in fast speed. Add eggs, one at a time and continue to beat.  Finally, add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • Fold in the flour mixture and combine using a rubber spatula.
  • Take a heaped tablespoon full of the cookie batter and drop on to the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches space between each cookie. Place 12 cookies on each sheet.
  • If you have big enough an oven, place two sheets at a time. Bake for 10 minutes, switching the sheets top to bottom and front to back midway. Repeat for the remaining batches.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack.
  • Fit a piping bag with ½ inch plain tip. Fill it with the cooled ganache. Pipe a generous dollop on the underside of 30 cookies. Cover with the remaining cookies to make a sandwich.
  • Pipe a squiggle of ganache on top of each cookie and place a mint leaf.

Source: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan

 

 

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