We won! We won! India got home the Cricket World Cup after 28 years! What football is to Europe, super bowl is to the Americans, cricket is to India. Its a religion here- and every one goes crazy with competitiveness when it comes to cricket. And yesterday was the final of World Cup 2011- where India took on Sri Lanka and made history when Dhoni, India’s captain (and my current crush!), hit a six to cross Sri Lanka’s score of 274 with still 6 wickets left in hand. Its such an exhilerating feeling and still sinking in! The last time we won, in 1983, I was not even born and had only heard and seen pictures of Kapil Dev, the then Indian team captain, holding the coveted Cup. I am so proud to be an Indian today and I think I share this sentiment with 1.2 billion Indians. Team India you did us proud!
Today was my third day of the massage treatment and I just did not want to go. I slept real late- the excitement of winning the World Cup made it difficult to sleep last night. In fact, I have been sleeping quite late these days. For the past few weeks I didn’t get time to sit on the internet too much. And ever since I am back at my parents place, I realised there was a lot of blogging to catch up on. So, I have been busy thinking what else can I make. And as a result, I’m surfing through all the lovely food blogs out in the web world. And once you start doing that, there’s just no end! Plus, going through all the lovely blog sites at night leaves me so hungry that it becomes difficult to sleep with a growling stomach.
As a result of incomplete sleep for the past few days, getting up early today was a task. Also, it’s not a relaxing kind of massage that I’m going for. The old lady who does it uses all her strength and it is quite painful. In fact, day before I hurt my knee really badly (I’m very clumsy and keep bumping into stuff), so when I went yesterday morning I told her to massage gently. But she didn’t. In fact, she put even more pressure! I oohed! & aahed! but she continued, saying that this would help the swelling to go. And well it kind of did, but I don’t know if it was a result of time or the massage. They do say, though, that since she uses so much pressure and probably because of the heat generated in the body, it helps one lose weight!Well, as they say – no pain, no gain and since I am already seeing some results I pushed myself to get up and go for the massage.
I told you about the tea party my mom had kept for her friends. Besides the caramelized onion tartlets, I also made some mocha chocolate chip cookies that day. I did not want to make regular chocolate chip cookies, and found the addition of coffee to the cookie batter a good twist. I found the recipe here. Kate’s site is beautiful- very creative with mouth-watering photographs. I saw a lot of recipes on her site and they are all going on my to-do list!
I did, though, like always, goof up with this recipe too. I know, such an easy recipe and I make a mistake here too! Well, I accidently left the oven on grill setting instead of bake and as a result the tops browned and I thought the cookies got baked. When I took them out and was putting the second batch- I realised the goof-up! I could have put them back in- but I thought of keeping the almost baked cookies for a cookie dough ice cream, which, hopefully, I’ll be making tomorrow. By the way, the cookies were a hit. Everyone enjoyed them!
Two years back The New York Times came out with an article that was titled: “Perfection: Hint? It’s warm and has a secret”. A year back I read it and life, since then, has never been the same!
The article is an interesting read talking about the search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I don’t know how I stumbled upon it, but have made these cookies quite many times since then and it is definitely the best chocolate chip recipe I have tried yet!
Fresh out of the oven they are just melt-in-your mouth- good. Believe me, they are best warm. I made them first thing in the morning today, because the 36 hour chilling rule to achieve the three texture goal (crunchy on the outside, soft on inside and a mix of both in between) got over at 4 am today. Wish I had got up an hour earlier so that V could have had them freshly baked. But, I got lazy!
They are so good fresh out of the oven that I actually called V up and told him to come back home immediately. He got really worried, asking what happened – is everything OK?And I was like- You HAVE to eat these warm! (Unfortunately, you can’t leave work to eat a freshly baked batch of cookies- life just doesn’t work that ways! Sigh!)
Not that they don’t taste that great afterwards, but freshly baked- well, even a bad cookie tastes great just out of the oven- so these, which are pretty pretty good, just taste freakingly awesome!
Of all the times I have baked this dough recipe, this time had, by far, the best results. It could be because of the unsalted butter- a regular find here, but quite a rarity in India. All manufactured butters are salted, the unsalted kinds are imported and yes, very expensive. It could also be the experience- each time I make them, I learn something new. Next time I am going to add a little cream of tartar. I read somewhere, it gives that cracked look to the cookie (it does nothing to the taste, though) and I would like to see that look more prominent in my cookies.
Jacques Torres makes only 18 cookies out of the whole dough- so they are pretty huge. His are 6-inch affairs. And even though I would love to do that, it just meant having more calories at one go, which, for a person like me is a strict no-no. So I made mine 3 inches wide (yes, they are still big – big enough to enjoy the different textures, but not as harsh on your waistline as the 6 inch ones.)
I used chips instead of chunks, even though I prefer chunks. But since the baking chocolate I had was 54 % cacao content and Torres claims that it should be at least 60 %, if not more, I had to use the 60 % cacao content chips I had.
I added toasted walnuts too. I like mine with nuts. But, since many do not like nuts in their chocolate chip cookies I learnt a trick I saw on Deb’s Smitten Kitchen website. She finely chops her nuts- some the size of peas but many more like powder. That ways you get the toasty flavor and an occasional nut in your cookie, but nothing that overpowers the chocolate in the cookie. A great trick which I am keeping!
I also did not have cake flour. I can never find it at the shops I generally visit. So, instead I used all-purpose flour with a little corn starch. (Substitution rule: for 2 cups cake flour, mix 1 3/4 cups all-purpose with 1/4 cup corn starch.)
But, in spite of all the substitutions, these cookies were just perfect- chewy, gooey, crunchy, caramelly- a bunch of flavors and textures packed together in one cookie! And the salt on top (at a loss of a better play of words), is like icing on a cake! Enjoy it slightly heated in the microwave (about 15 seconds) with a cold glass of milk, coffee or just by its own- it will always taste good!