Category Archives: baking

Ruby chocolate, ginger & brazil nut cookies (no press!)

Callebaut’s ruby chocolate is still quite the novelty if you consider the steep price and having to purchase them online, but I’m still convinced of the slightly tart and fruity flavor, and let’s face it – that color of pink!

I’ve been working on this recipe to get the sweetness from the sugar and ruby chocolate in line. With ruby chocolate, my regular chocolate chip recipe yielded a cookie that was achingly sweet. Now that I know less sugar doesn’t drastically change the dough that much, I’ll stick with this version from now on. The addition of powdered ginger compliments ruby chocolate’s fruity notes so you get a taste of sweet, tart, fruit, and spice all in one bite.

2.5 kilos of Callebaut ruby chocolate – 55 euros when last purchased in March

Makes approximately 30-32 cookies

140 grams butter at room temperature (5 ounces or 1¼ stick butter)
90 grams granulated sugar (1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon)
90 grams coarse brown sugar (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
240 grams all-purpose/tipo “00” flour (1.75 cups)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon powdered ginger (1/2 teaspoon for a more subtle flavor)
150 grams chocolate chips (1 cup)
15 brazil nuts, shelled and chopped coarsely

Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F; fan on.
Cream butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg.
Sift together flour, baking powder and powdered ginger.
Gently stir the dry ingredients into creamed mixture and beat to combine well.
Stir in ruby chocolate chips and brazil nuts.
Place heaped tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared cookie sheets.
No need to press but if you like flatter cookies, press gently as dough will spread slightly.
Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes, turning cookie sheets halfway through baking.
Cool and store in an airtight tin, or freeze for later.

Goddess of Fertility Day

Pupazza of the chestnut forest

Yes there is such a day, and no way was I going to let it go by without mention of the extra-endowed Pupazza Frascatana. More than a decade ago we visited Pasticceria Purificato in the town of Frascati (Rome) where these cookies originated. Standing at about 10-inches tall, they’re symbolic of abundance and fertility, just the thing we all look forward to with spring equinox in a few days. Unfortunately the shop doesn’t sell online, so I put together a quick recipe based on various descriptions and basically cut my pupazza freehand.

Check out this video of how they make the pupazza at Pasticceria Purificato (subtitled).

The original recipe lists honey, oil, orange extract, flour and that’s it. These are very firm cookies (the texture reminded me of teething biscuits!), perfect for dipping in coffee or wine. This is what I did:

4 oz. butter (113 grams or 1/2 cup)
8 oz. millefiori honey (225 grams or 3/4 cup)
2 1/4 cup “00” flour (roughly 330 grams)

Gently warm the butter until melted. Remove from heat and add the honey; stir to combine well. Add the flour all at once and mix to a smooth texture. Divide dough into thirds and roll each directly onto baking parchment (pre-sized to fit baking sheet) to approximately 1/4-inch or 5 mm. Cut out desired shapes with cookies cutters or a pastry wheel. Remove dough scraps, slide parchment onto baking sheet, and bake at 180°C/350°F for 12-15 minutes until light brown around the edges.

You can reroll the scraps, but if the dough has firmed up too much, zap in the microwave at 10-second intervals to soften. Cool baked cookies completely and store in an airtight container.