The French like chocolate as much, or even more, than the rest of us. That includes Clotilde Dusoulier, who writes the blog Chocolate & Zucchini. If you’re a reader, you’re privy to her charming stories about her life in Paris accompanied recipes. And you’ve also likely heard of her book: Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen.
Turning the pages and reading about her life in Montmartre is like spending the day with a true Parisienne, which seems to be an endless quest of finding the best markets and sourcing ingredients, then taking them home and making them into fabulous dinners to share with friends and family.
Like most French people, and myself, I seem to always focus on chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I’ve been playing around with these “Very Chocolate Cookies,” as they’re called, making them several times, in several different ways.
I’ve been chopping chocolate to make the soft, slightly crumbly batter, which bakes into extra-delicious, delicate dark chocolate cookies, finished with a flurry of flaky sea salt, a nice contrast to the bittersweet chocolate.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen By Clotilde Dusoulier
This makes a slightly crumbly cookie dough and will take a bit of coaxing to get the rounds into shape. I use Dutch-process cocoa powder, which is darker than natural cocoa powders (such as most supermarket brands, like Nestlé and Hershey's), although it might be interesting to experiment with some of the cocoa powders made by bean-to-bar chocolate makers. For more on cocoa powder, check out my Cocoa powder FAQs.
1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 ounces (140g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped in chip-sized chunks
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon (125g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher or salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: fleur de sel, or another flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
1. In a small bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together.
2. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a microwave), melt half of the chocolate (2½ oz, 70g), then let cool to room temperature. Mix the other half of the chocolate chunks a bowl with the cocoa nibs.
3. Beat the butter with a standing electric mixer, or by hand, just until smooth. Beat in the sugar, salt and vanilla or chocolate extract.
4. By hand, stir in the melted chocolate, then the flour & cocoa mixture. Then finally the chocolate chunks and nibs.
5. Scoop the dough into 1-inch (3cm) rounds and place evenly-spaced apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the tops slightly (the edges may crack a bit, which is normal) and sprinkle each cookie with flaky sea salt, if desired, then bake for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets midway during baking, until the cookies take on a slightly dry sheen on the top but feel soft when you touch them.