The Sweet Adventures Blog Hop is the brainchild of Aussie bloggers Delicieux, The Hungry Australian, Dining With a Stud, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and 84th & 3rd. Every month there is a dessert theme for bloggers to participate in and this month is ‘Death by Chocolate’ hosted by The Hungry Australian.
To be honest, I generally bake relatively simple things. I think that one of the most satisfying things about baking is that you don’t have to outdo yourself to get a good outcome. A fancy chocolate dessert that has multiple layers and uses a number of different textures to construct it from a fine dining restaurant is always a real treat, but a good old fashioned brownie can also hit the spot. When chocolate came up as the Sweet Blog Hop Adventures theme for this month, the first couple of chocolate desserts that came across my mind and I’m sure crossed everyone’s mind were chocolate cake, cupcakes, brownies, mousse, pudding, slice... easy to make chocolate treats but deliciously satisfying, comforting foods.
Two weekends ago, The Kitchen Crusader and I made the trip down to Margaret River to visit our friend Nadia who works at Gabriel Chocolate. We stayed with Nadia and had access to her impressive selection of chocolate/dessert books.
Flicking through her books to get some ideas, there were a lot of fancy things that I could have made but when I saw the recipe for Almost Oreos, I was sold. Oreos are a cookie that I love eating, I have never made them before and the recipe for it in Green & Black’s Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection looked really good and not too hard to bake so I wanted to try it. Oreos make a good after dinner treat and you can never seem to eat too many of them. So this is my blog post for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop – "Death By Chocolate" this month.
Summer dessert – Vanilla ice cream with homemade Oreos crumbled over the top.
Homemade Oreos are great, everyone should try making them as it’s more chocolately and not as sweet, and instead of the sweet icing like cream filling, you get a lovely white ganache.
(Recipe adapted from - Green & Black’s Organic Ultimate Chocolate Recipes: The New Collection)
Makes about 20
For the cookie dough
• 140g plain flour
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
• 75g caster sugar
• 25g icing sugar
• 25g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
• 100g butter, softened/room temperature
• 1 large egg yolk
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• Optional - to give the Oreos an extra chocolate hit, I ground some cocoa nibs that I bought from Gabriel Chocolate with a mortar and pestle and added them into the mix.
Ground Cocoa Nibs
For the ganache filling
• 125g white chocolate, broken into pieces
• 40ml crème fraiche
Sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl (add in ground cocoa nibs if using). Melt the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Set aside to cool.
Using an electric beater, cream together the butter, caster sugar and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract and melted chocolate. Beat well to incorporate all the ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the dry ingredients and mix on a slow speed until a dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and shape into a cylinder shape about 15cm long. Roll the cylinder on the work surface to even it out and then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1.5 hours.
Tips: To get an even cylinder shape for the cookie dough - make sure that you twist the cling film tightly and take it out of the fridge at regular intervals (every half hour or so) and roll it on a table so that it doesn’t take on a flatten side where it has been resting.
When the dough has rested sufficiently (it should be quite hard), preheat oven to 180C and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
Remove the dough from the fridge, unwrap it and place it on a board. Using a sharp knife, slice the cylinder into thin rounds (2.5mm). Place the rounds on the baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool on the sheets. You should get around 40 rounds from the dough.
I have a small oven which can only fit one baking tray at a time, so I sliced enough rounds of the dough to fill one tray and refrigerated the dough while I baked that tray. Then I would take out the dough and slice enough to fill another tray and bake. I refrigerated the dough between baking the trays so that the dough keeps its shape (ps. Perth it's quite hot at the moment, we have a week coming up of 37-40 degrees so if your kitchen isn’t as warm as mine it would not be necessary to refrigerate the dough all the time).
While the cookies are cooling, make the ganache filling. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl of barely simmering water. Take the bowl off the heat and leave to slightly cool for 2-3 minutes, then stir in and incorporate the crème fraiche. Allow to cool for around 15 minutes at room temperature.
Melting the white chocolate
Stirring in the crème fraiche into the melted white chocolate
Turn half the cookies upside down and put a teaspoon of ganache in the center of each. Top with the remaining cookies and press gently together so that the ganache spreads until you can see it around the sides. Put the assembled cookies on a tray and refrigerate for around 30 minutes to allow the ganache to set. Then store the Oreos in the fridge in a sealed container.
Lessons learned: You shouldn’t put the cookies on top of each other to set as the weight of the ones on top squash the bottom ones which can result in the ganache spilling out over the sides. …opps…