LEVAIN-STYLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


What is better than a chocolate chip cookie when it comes to satiating a midday craving or winding down with your favourite book on a weekend morning? Whilst the chocolate chip cookie recipe I have previously shared makes for an easy, fuss-free option, these Levain-style chocolate chip cookies are a little more indulgent, thick, gooey and dense, and filled with loadddddddds of chocolate.


Whilst the base of ingredients are not significantly different from other types of chocolate chip cookies, the addition of cornstarch, along with the ratio of dry-and-wet ingredients is what gives the cookie its height, thickness, and a crisp exterior. The higher baking temperature also allows the cookie to be set from the outside quicker, leaving an almost underbaked, ooey gooey centre. The proportion of the cookie by weight also makes it super-thick, unlike its flatter, chewier cookie counterpart.



Aside from its sheer size and thickness, the very generous amount of chocolate used in this recipe makes it the most significant source of flavour (apart from the nuttiness from walnuts, fragrance from butter and vanilla). It is important to ensure that you use a high quality chocolate that contains cocoa butter than those made with vegetable fats. I like to use an array of different chocolates, with different sizes (feves and callets), and tasting notes, which gives the cookie a greater complexity of flavour and textures. The use of Callebaut’s 33.6% milk chocolate callets imparts a hint of caramelly milkiness whilst the use of Valrhona’s Caraïbe 66% chocolate feves complements the nutty fragrance of the cookie. Its size also gives it very drool-worthy chocolate puddles. However, feel free to experiment with your favourite chocolates.


LEVAIN-STYLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


INGREDIENTS


200g unsalted butter, cold

100g light brown sugar

90g caster sugar

2 eggs (~100g eggs, lightly beaten)

20g good quality vanilla paste or 8g vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)

5g cornstarch

½ teaspoon fleur de sel or any good sea-salt

¾ teaspoon, or 3g baking powder

¼ teaspoon, or 2g baking soda

110g cake flour

200g all-purpose flour

150g walnut, chopped, toasted and cooled

100g Callebaut 33.6% milk chocolate callets

150g Callebaut 54.5% chocolate callets

100g Callebaut 70.5% chocolate callets

50g Valrhona Caraïbe 66% chocolate feves, and more for rolling



DIRECTIONS


Preheat oven to 200°C.

Sift cake and all-purpose flours, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking baking soda in a bowl. Whisk until well combined and set aside.

In another bowl, beat cold cubed butter, light brown sugar, and caster sugar until the sugars are well-incorporated into the butter with no lumps of butter. Note: I flatten the cold cubes of butter with the edge of my spatula and cut the sugars into the butter. Please use a sturdy spatula!

Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until just combined. Stir in fleur de sel and vanilla paste.

Stir in the dry ingredients until barely combined, with traces of flour in sight.

Stir in chocolates and toasted walnuts until all of the ingredients are just combined and evenly distributed to avoid overmixing.

Lay clingfilm on the countertop, cover the cookie dough tightly to avoid the cookie dough from drying out and set in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, or overnight. (I let mine rest for up to 24 hours).

Separate cookie dough into large balls, weighing approximately 95g each. Flatten the cookie dough and place two Valrhona chocolate feves into the centre. Seal the chocolate feves by bringing up the edges of the flattened cookie dough and form into a ball, ensuring the chocolate feves within are concealed. Chill in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes before baking.

Whilst the cookies do not spread and flatten significantly during baking, do leave some space between each cookie dough balls on your baking tray to prevent them from merging into each other.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes to set. Sprinkle atop with fleur de sel.


TIP: Substitute the suggested types of chocolates with your favourite ones. Play around with different chocolates with various tasting notes, different sized chocolates for chocolate puddles! I would, however, add a good amount of dark chocolate so the cookie will not be overly sweet. I highly recommend Valrhona. The choice is endless, but I would recommend against using compound chocolate.
TIP: Feel free to replace the walnuts with your favourite nuts, or omit it altogether if you do not like nuts in your cookies. Pecan, macadamia nuts, or pistachio work well and offer a textural contrast to the dense, gooey centre.
NOTE: To toast walnuts, place the walnuts evenly on a baking tray and place in a 160°C preheated oven for approximately 7-8 minutes. Stir the walnuts 4 minutes into toasting so that the nuts on the edges of the baking tray are mixed into the middle, vice versa. Every oven is different, use your eyes and nose as a guide. The nutty fragrance of walnuts will waft through your kitchen once it is done and the walnuts will look slightly darker.
NOTE: Whilst more is more when it comes to a chocolate chip cookie, do not use more than the amount of chocolate advised as it will weaken the structural integrity of the cookie - your cookie needs the cookie dough to hold its shape.
NOTE: If you do not want to bake everything up, the extra cookie dough balls keeps tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to a week, or the freezer for up to a month.

Yields 10 to 12 cookies, depending on how big your cookies are.

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I know you’ll be tempted to have these cookies immediately after it is baked in the oven, but please let the cookies rest on its baking tray for at least 10 minutes. I enjoy having these cookies served warm with a glass of cold milk (or unsweetened matcha latte).

Let me know your thoughts on these cookies and your favourite chocolate! Do send me photos of your creation and tag me on Instagram @offeastandfield if you’ve tried it!

Enjoy! :)

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