Wednesday 23 June 2010


I don’t believe people will be disappointed if I add more chocolate to one of my favourite chocolate chip recipes, n’est ce pas?

In this amazingly yummy cookie are three different types of chocolate:  Callebaut milk, Callebaut dark and Callebaut white.

I’ll tell you right now that it is a winner.   In my opinion, you cannot go wrong if you add more chocolate.  The addition of the white chocolate gives it a somewhat nutty whisper.  But there are no nuts! My kids are allergic to nuts. 

I have some decent sources for my chocolate chunks.  I prefer them to chocolate chips because these morsels are substantial and their shapes are quite uniform. 

I buy my Callebaut chunks from the bulk bins at The Real Canadian Superstore.  They also sell the huge slabs of milk or dark chocolate as well as a multitude of chocolate wafers, traditional chip shapes in various sizes and other nifty confections to add to your cookie dough. 

Originally, I had added black sesame seeds to this cookie dough recipe in combination with white chocolate chunks.   Unfortunately, they didn’t look too appealing to me because the black sesame seeds looked too much like ants crawling all over the cookies.  However, that being said, my colleagues hoovered them up and raved about how delicious they were with the nuttiness of the black sesame seeds.   I wasn’t convinced they looked appetizing enough to post though…and so you don’t get to see them.  You see, currently I am having an all-out war in my garden with a bunch of ants.  They’re everywhere.  I can’t stand them.  My mother twirled around a stick in a little mound of dirt and exposed a whole nest of eggs to the surface.  The ant eggs looked like grains of brown rice.  All I can say is “uck”.  I can’t stand how they “groom” the aphids in my Asian pear tree.  I can’t stand how they’re all over my veggie patch and sometimes when I pick some peonies or other flowers from the garden to bring in, I notice much too late that they’re crawling around the inner petals.

I have won a few battles with the ants at the expense of my grass.  I poured boiling water on the ant nest:  die ants, die!   And so did a few patches of lovely grass.  I concocted a borax/peanut butter death meal as well as a borax/confectioners’ sugar and a borax/jam mixture so that I could get as many species of ants as possible.  I’ve got big ones, little ones, ants that like sweets and ants that like proteins.   But of course, I’m still seeing plenty of ants.  I have seen about a dozen little ant hills in the garden and that’s what I can see.  Who knows what they’re doing in the front yard and around the cracks in my steps leading to my house.  I can’t stand it!   There are mounds of sand around cracks and crevices everywhere!   I am persistent though and as soon as I start my summer break, I’ll be going out every day checking on my ant poisons to see if they are having any effect.  

So, though I digress, you now know why I cannot possibly post a recipe that has anything resembling ants in it.   Okay, so the cookies didn’t look like they had ants, but I’m in a state of mind where anything small and black is BAD!
On a lighter and less caustic though just as deadly topic, this Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe is based on the Jacques Torres recipe I’ve used before.  I replaced some of the sugar with agave syrup to ensure that they stayed moist and chewy. 

I like!

I like how there’s so much chocolate in the cookie that there’s barely enough dough holding the chocolate pieces together.  I like how the white chocolate plays against the milk and dark.  I like how a hot cookie with a cold glass of milk transports me to the age of 8, when I didn’t care how many calories were in a cookie and blissfully gorged myself with a plateful without remorse or promises to myself to run another hour on my treadmill. 
[hit the jump and scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe.]


Right now, as I’m typing up this post, there is a wonderful aroma wafting through my house.  No, it isn’t the cookies (though they’re lovely too).  It is a sweet perfume that I recognized right away but just couldn’t pinpoint.  I wandered around the house a few minutes ago looking for the source of the perfume and found it:  my mother’s plant was in full bloom. 
This is a special kind of cactus (Asian I believe) that only blooms once a year at exactly 9:00 p.m.  Then the flower slowly withers and is dead by the next morning. My mother had always had one of these plants in our home when I was growing up and now I have one in my home.  In our climate, it is an indoor plant but I believe it can be grown outdoors in California as my aunt has one outside.  I have no idea what it’s called.  Because the flowers appear so rarely and for such a brief time-frame, you can miss its blooming.    This particular specimen must be close to 40 years old because my mother never buys plants…she just propogates!


If you have any idea what it’s called do leave a comment and tell me.  I think that some people pick the flowers and use it in herbal soups.  I have never eaten one nor do I ever intend to.  We just chuck the dead flower when it falls off the plant.   The flower itself is so dramatic and reminds me of a dragon with its long neck and exploding tendrils.  It’s gorgeous. 
If you’re interested in the Jacques Torres Chocolate chip cookie recipe, it is below and add as many white and milk chocolate chunks as you or the dough can tolerate.

makes 3 dozen ridiculously large cookies or a whole bunch more smaller ones!

adapted from Jacques Torres' A Year in Chocolate
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour [I used organic, unbleached]
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar [I used organic evaporated cane sugar]
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-sized pieces [I used Callebaut dark chunks, Callebaut milk and white chunks]
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Have ready 2 nonstick cookie sheets, or line 2 regular cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Add the brown and granulated sugars and beat until well blended. Add the eggs and beat just until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture a little at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When all of the flour mixture has been incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate.
  3. To shape the cookies, using a tablespoon, scoop out a heaping spoonful of the dough and, using the palms of your hands, form it into a 3-inch ball. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven, transfer the cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely.
  5. Store, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
  6. [cakebrained note: I keep prepared dough in their 3-inch ball shapes, refrigerated in a ziploc bag for a few days and bake as I need them. I only ever bake 6 cookies on a sheet at one time. This way you have a constant supply of fresh cookies. They're so good hot from the oven! Alternately, you can freeze the cookie balls too and keep them longer, but you may have to add a few minutes to the baking time]


Clumbsy Cookie said...

I totally agree with you. Of course you can't go wrong with more chocolate. I wish I could get those chunks around here, they look awesome!

Mary @Delightful Bitefuls said...

Oh, wow! Those look divine! One can neverr go wrong with more chocolate!

Delightful Bitefuls

Anonymous said...

Hi! Your cookies look amazing!
Those plants are called "Night Blooming Cereus" plants. I grew up with them too, and, to this day, their particular smell stops me in my tracks!

amlamonte said...

oh my gaw yuuuuurrrrmmm! more chocolate is not ever a mistake. thanks for sharing!

Shannon Crissey said...

I love big chocolate chunks! Yum.

Cereus is a lovely flower! It grows wild here in florida and theres one down the street the climbs up a pine when it blooms its just a white trunk!

Snooky doodle said...

yummy yummy these look so good. I m hooked.

Zurin said...

those cookies can NEVER go wrong with more fact it can only get more right.

Cakebrain said...

C. Cookie,
I've been missing your posts! Hope all is well! Yah, those chunks are a time-saver for sure!
I'm so glad you agree with me! we're kindred spirits!
Anonymous & Shannon,
thanks for informing me of the name of this plant! I had no idea!
a. maren,
I wish I could share some with you! I have a bunch left over!
Snooky and Zurin,
I knew something was special when I could barely get the chocolate chunks to stick together with the little bits of cookie dough.

Trissa said...

You can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes - especially if they look as good as this one.

Juliana said...

Oh! These cookies look so yummie! What a nice treat!

Unknown said...

Thank you for making an amazing cookie even better! Hope the ant problem is resolved by now!

Anna said...

I love these sorts of chocolate cookie recipes where the dough to chocolate ratio is totally off-balance... The more chocolate you can cram in the better, I say! :)

Lot-O-Choc said...

Mmmm the more chocolate in a cookie the better hehe, they look so chunky and delicious!! YUM!

Anonymous said...

Just subscribed to your blog and I love it. I'm getting ready to try your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe to see if it's going to replace my current favorite (Toba Garrett's Chocolate Fudge Cake) Have you tried any of her recipes? I need to sign up for a Google account so I don't have to post anonymous username is Cakedivafefe - happy caking!

Cakebrain said...

Glad to have you aboard! Do try it and tell me how it goes! Most people have commented that it's worked for them. My other favourite recipe is the Barefoot Contessa one (ingredients are readily available and it's way more economical) and perfect when you just want to concentrate on cupcake decorating. Haven't tried that recipe from Garrett but now I'm going to have to!

naomi said...

I love chocolate, so your tripe choc chunk recipe is perfect. By the way, I love your blog and your creations.

Y said...

Ants .. argh! I find them fascinating, but they drive me nuts too, especially when they suddenly find something interesting in the kitchen that they want to tell all their ant friends about.

Cakediva said...

I tried Ina's chocolate layer cake recipe and wanted to get back to you to let you know that although the flavor was incredible, my cupcakes didn't have the pretty dome I like. It could've been me though, -the recipe called for fresh brewed hot coffee and the batter was very thin after adding the coffee. I think it may have changed the dynamics of the baking process. Your pics look like you get a nice pretty dome - do you think my flat tops are from too hot coffee? I still want to try the Cook's Illustrated recipe out - maybe this weekend! Happy caking - oh and the Tweed angel food cake looks delish!

Memória said...

Oh, I have made something similar to these cookies before. Your cookies look amazing! I know they were great. What beautiful photos!

Cakebrain said...

aw man, I'm so unhappy when a recipe doesn't work out for someone. I do agree with you that after adding the hot coffee, the batter is runny...but it's supposed to be that way. To troubleshoot, I would first check the expiry date on your baking powder and test it to make sure it's fresh. Then I'd check the oven calibration. If all's well there, then I'd look to how long you beat the mixture after incorporating the coffee. It should be fully incorporated and homogeneous. I doubt the flat tops are from the hot coffee, assuming that everything was measured accurately. It may be from old leavening agent? Do try the Cooks Illustrated recipe. You shouldn't be disappointed.
thanks for visiting! I enjoyed clicking around your blog!

Anonymous said...

You can never go wrong with a little extra chocolate :)

Katie said...

Hi i just stumbled across your page from your comment on buttercream barbie's blog, i love her peanut butter cookie recipe ! i am dying to try these gorgeous cookies!! but unfortuantely have to wait until my mother comes home to see if theres enough ingredients left over after she makes cakes. Cant wait though YUM!

Cakebrain said...

Hey Katie,
Hope you have enough ingredients for this recipe too! It's a good one! Thanks for visiting!


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