I got slightly obsessed with perfecting the how-to on cookies during my time as a pastry chef at Llewelyn’s. I think cookies are quite a personal thing – some people like them crunchy, others prefer them soft, others crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. I really enjoy a cookie that can hold its shape, but when you break it in the middle it’s got a slight softness to it, with a really generous amount of dark chocolate chips and a touch of sea salt.
I found one of the biggest factors that affected my cookies (other than the recipe) was the resting period in the fridge before baking. Try it for yourself if you want to see the difference.
Makes: 14-15 cookies
140g unsalted butter, softened
140g dark brown soft sugar
110g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
250g plain flour
180g dark chocolate, chopped into large chunks
Put the butter and both sugars in a stand mixer or mixing bowl. Cream together using a paddle attachment, a hand-held electric whisk or a wooden spoon for 1–2 minutes until paler but not fluffy. (Do not mix for too long, in this case you don’t want the mixture to be super light and fluffy as that will cause the cookie to deflate later when cooking.)
Add the egg and beat in quickly until evenly combined.
Mix together the dry ingredients (baking powder, bicarbonate, Maldon and flour) in a separate bowl, and fold in.
Add the chopped chocolate and fold in until evenly distributed.
Immediately scoop out 60-g portions of the cookie dough, roll into balls and place on two baking sheets lined with baking parchment. Chill in the fridge overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/gas mark 4.
Make sure the dough balls are evenly spaced out as they will spread. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes (or 14 minutes if baking from frozen). You want the middle to be ever so slightly under-set.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet, they will continue firming up as they cool. Once cooled, eat!!
Once baked, these cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The balls of dough will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge or 2 weeks in the freezer.
We’ve got Rav to thank for much of our lockdown baking and new-found pastry expertise. The Pastry Chef’s Guide is the culmination of years of her working in some of London’s best bakeries and restaurants, garnering knowledge which she has put into a simple, hilariously funny book that is pretty much essential kitchen reading.