Monday, 31 October 2011

Thomas Keller Oreo

Also known as TKO amongst the food blogging community, this is an upmarket version of my childhood snack. As a kid, everyday during recess, I would head down to the canteen and buy myself a 3-in-a-pack Oreo cookie. Back then, those blue packets of heaven merely cost me 30 cents. I don't know about you but I'm never a fan of the Twist, Lick, Dunk technique. I head straight for the dunk. And since I never liked drinking milk, I would dunk them in Ribena. It might sound gross to you but to me, it was the perfect combination. The Ribena soften the Oreo AND made it taste sweeter.

Research have shown that dunking releases about ten times the flavour of the biscuit compared with eating it dry. But to be able to achieve that, one has to master the timing of the dunk. Dunk it for too long and all you'll get is a soggy mess, too short and the biscuit won't have enough time to be saturated by the liquid. It has to have that perfect balance of a soft yet still crunchy texture. Well, that's my preference anyway.

In case you were wondering, Thomas Keller is an American, 3 star Michelin chef who owns one of the best restaurant in the world, The French Laundry. Such a cute name I must say. I came to know of Chef Keller from the book, The Reach of a Chef by Michael Ruhlman. It was one of those book I randomly picked out in the library because I was attracted to the cover and luckily the book was an interesting read. It introduced me to famous real chefs in America. By real chef, I meant not celebrity chefs but those who actually slogged their way up in the kitchen.

Back to the cookie, the TKO does not taste exactly like an Oreo. It's much more refined. Try to get your hands on a good quality white chocolate if possible. This is only the 2nd time I have worked with white chocolate and quality means everything. A cheap white chocolate taste like solidified sweeten milk. A good white chocolate still has that chocolately feel to it.

If you don't own a mixer, you can do it by hand like I did. Just rub the butter and the dry ingredients together with your fingers. It will take some time to get everything together and your hands will get dirty but at least you'll be rubbing some love into the dough. Lol. The TKOs can be kept in an air tight container for up to 3 days. Somehow I find it tasted better the day after making it. 

Thomas Keller Oreo from The Essenceof Chocolate
Makes 24

1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
215g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature

1/2 cup heavy cream
225g white chocolate, chopped

For the Cookies: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed. With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time. The mixture will be dry and sandy at first, but after 2 minutes, it will form pebble-size pieces that start to cling together. Stop the mixer and transfer the dough to your board.

Separate dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece of dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to 1/8" inch thick. Using a fluted cutter, cut into rounds. Scraps can be pieced together and rolled out again. Place 1/2" apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes at 180C, rotating halfway through baking. Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

For the FillingIn a small pan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let it stand for 1 minute, then whisk to melt the chocolate until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and let stand for 6 hours to thicken up.

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