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Sunday, January 14, 2007
Rage syndrome inducing – Pierre Hermé’s sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you utterly fail.
I did try, in fact, to resist to Pierre Hermé’s sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel.
But then, from the photo above you can tell I’ve given in – and what a defeat; because although I easily concede that, ‘yes, I’ve been weak and lacking of will-power’, now my current and unique obsession is to remake these as soon as possible (still I will make an effort and wait for at least a day or two).

Nevertheless, it is not my fault. It seems that every single person on this planet s’est donnée le mot [has been conspiring].
I was already, at the beginning, vulnerable and very receptive to the charms of these cookies: intensely chocolaty and beautifully salty. And the worldwide conspiracy didn’t help – at all.

By September I had developed weird symptoms of what might have looked like the ‘rage syndrome’: sudden attacks for no apparent reason; the dog fanny will often be sleeping and then attacks without warning. Its her eyes become dilated and sometimes change colour during and after an attack.
Beware because the dog fanny is totally confused when attacking and will not respond to any attempts to stop it her. The attacks are very unpredictable and the dog fanny will appear disorientated afterward and unaware of its actions, then return to its her normal self shortly after.
Victims are usually members of the family who have one or more chocolate and fleur de sel sablés in their hands.

However, and from what I remember, the climax of the strange behaviour I had was reached on the 5th January; when Deb posted, not one but, three pictures of the coveted little - rounds - of - pure - chocolate.
It was too much! Definitely too much!
I started panicking, fell petrified onto the floor and begun to sway, moving quickly from one position to another.
That’s all I can recall from that day; because, when I woke up the next day everything seemed back to normal. Back to normal except that now sitting on my bed table laid a plate of Pierre Hermé’s cookies instead of the usual pile of cookbooks.

* All you’ve read above is pure fiction :) Well, who am I kidding? Let’s say it is only very close to what really happened!

Sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel
adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my home to yours

In French, sablés litteraly means ‘sandy’. And these are indeed deliciously sandy.
I love the contrast between the melting chocolate chunks and the texture of the sable itself.
The addition of salt is a brilliant idea: it doesn’t only enhance the profound chocolate taste but it also makes these cookies particularly desirable.
Dorie says you can keep them for three days – stored in an airtight container; though, I highly doubt you’ll be enough strong-minded to resist!

Note - The dough can be kept in the fridge for three days or frozen for two months (in which case you needn’t defrost it before baking; just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer).

Sablés au chocolat et à la fleur de sel
makes about 35 cookies

175g all-purpose flour
30g unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120g cup (packed) light brown sugar
50g cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g dark chocolate (fanny: I used 70% cocoa), chopped into chips

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
Cream the butter on medium speed until soft. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two.
Pour in the flour and mix just until combined - work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly.
Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 4cm in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours (fanny : for me, overnight).

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Working with a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1cm thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 2cm between them.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature. But to be completely honest, I can't say what they taste like at room temperature as I couldn't help but eat them straight from the oven.

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26 sweets:
Blogger Sigrid said something sweet:

Well, your's at least are more similar to the picture of these cookies in ph10, mine were more like traditional, flat, chocolate cookies (but, oh, they tasted so great! :-)

14 January, 2007 16:18 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Oh sweet Fanny, you are cruel! Especially now that we have mysteriously "run out" of our supply ("no idea how that happened," she says through chocolate-stained teeth). I especially love that yours kept their sliced shape. I had two trays, one kept them and the other baked a couple minutes longer and I preferred the ones that kept their upper edge. (Though I ate both, you know, to be fair.)

14 January, 2007 16:44 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Oh, these look so good! I saw that post and had a similar reaction. Now your post has sent me over the top and I'm printing out the recipe as I type!

I'm going to be making these little beauties very soon! I have all the ingredients and I'm ready to go!

14 January, 2007 21:17 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

fantastique! These look great, I love cookies, my wife leans toward the saltier snacks, I think this is one of the few we could both agree on. I'll be sure to try making a batch very soon.

14 January, 2007 23:42 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:


I don't think anyone can blame you for giving into those sablés! We understand completely! They are beautiful little cookies!

15 January, 2007 01:48 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Hi Fanny,

I can't ever stop eating these until they're all gone! Thank you for your entertainingly sweet fantasy :)

15 January, 2007 03:47 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

What a wonderful post! Have never had any of these but "must" bake some. Hope they are as good as yours. Yum--chocolate! Thanks for visiting!

15 January, 2007 19:27 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Bravo pour le graphisme de ton blog, il est absolument superbe!

15 January, 2007 23:47 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

merçi ma très chère Fanny, tu es si gentille!! je t'aime bien !! bises micky

16 January, 2007 01:32 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

What a delightful blog you have Fanny. I will be checking in often. These densely chocolately treats sound delicious. Although my baking skills aren't on par with my cooking skills, I will definitely try these. Plus, I'm so glad you mentioned Dorie Greenspan; I heard a radio interview she gave, was intrigued, but didn't get a chance to write down her name.
Food "Blogga"

16 January, 2007 01:55 

Blogger Wanderlusting said something sweet:

Mmm, who would have thought chocolate and salt would go together? I just bought some seasalt today so I'm tempted to try this out...maybe modify it with a little splenda since I'm cutting down on sugar.

16 January, 2007 02:59 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

I think that you are going to NOT need to twist my arm to do this. Chocolat, yeah! Lovely Fanny!

16 January, 2007 04:06 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Ces sablés sont vraiment superbe, j'aime beaucoup la forme que tu leur as donnée, on a tout de suite l'impression d'un produit particulier... quand au mélange chocolat et sel, j'ai définitivement adopté le beurre salé dans les gateaux au chocolat, c'est divin!

bonne journée!


ps: j'ai voulu lire l'article du NYT dans ta section dédiée et le lien mène à une interface d'identification pour abonnés

16 January, 2007 09:56 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Oh wow, those look delicious! I'm probably going to be making them very soon- yum!

16 January, 2007 17:21 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

I have this recipe flagged in the cookbook, and now you've inspired me to make them. Beautiful photo!

16 January, 2007 21:27 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Ils semblent férocement dangereux en effet, et contrairement à ce que dit l'auteur de smitten kitchen ou plus exactement l'auteur américaine (?) de ce livre qui reprend la recette de PH.
A double tranchant, soit ils générent un climat de paix, soit ils attisent la convoitise et l'avidité du voisin (ou des animaux ;o))
Au fait, peut-être n'ai-je pas bien saisi mais la recette est-elle celle de PH en fin de compte ou de cette auteure US ?
Tu écris que la tienne est adaptée de Dorie Greenpan ?...
Merci pour ce moment de délicate gourmandise

17 January, 2007 03:35 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

I don't know what it is about sweets and salt, but I just looove that combination. I really like this post, it made me laugh and it made me hungry!

18 January, 2007 00:50 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

I don't blame you at all for the state these put you in...they look wonderful! How long can you keep the log in the ref? or can you freeze it for a time? So you can keep and emergency stash for quick baking...

18 January, 2007 14:16 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

ohh my they do look quite very tasty!

19 January, 2007 05:19 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

*g* I just baked off the last of mine (I only bake half batches, so that I eat less of them). Half of it is already gone!

20 January, 2007 16:38 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Hi Sigrid - do we really care about the form?

Hi Deb - i had the same problem; but baking them at 160°C helped them to keep their lovely shape.

Hi Anali - i warn you: you should never start making these or you won't be able to stop!

Hi Scott - i think she LOVE them.

Hi Ivonne and S - thanks for making me feel less guilty. Who ever said that eating 6 chocolate cookies in one row was bad?

Hi Fran - so good to see you back.

Coucou Cécile - merci, ca me touche.

Coucou Micheline - je suis si contente que tout soit rentré dans l'ordre pour toi et Math. Bisous

Hi Susan - these cookies are very easy to make. In fact they're so easy i could make them every day.

Hi Wanderlusting - salt is a natural flavour enhancer and help the chocolate to brings out all its delicious aromas.

Hi Bea - think we share the same love for chocolate: incontrolable!

Coucou Peggy - c'est Pierre Hermé qui leur donne cette forme.
Pour ce qui est du lien, il faut s'inscrire gratuitement et tu pourras y acceded ainsi qu'a d'autres articles du NYT.

Hi Caty - will you send me some. Com'on, please!

Hi Karen - i'm sure you'll find them delicious.

Coucou Thalie - en fait Dorie Greenspan est aussi l'auteure de "mes desserts au chocolat" et elle reprend cette recette dans son nouveau livre.

Hi Natalia - seems we have the same passion for salt + chocolate then.

Hi Joey - i added a little note before the recipe (3 days in the fridge/2 months frozen).

Hi Helen - oh yes they are!

Hi May - i think i've had the same problem. Half a batch made, half a batch eaten. And i'm off to make some more!

- fanny

21 January, 2007 14:21 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Mmmmmmmmm, Ho ils ont l'air TELLEMENT bons...tu m'en refera...?!

21 January, 2007 19:03 

Blogger Bron said something sweet:

Mmmm I want to snatch up them all!mm

21 January, 2007 23:21 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

wow..that is cool..i a visitor who jus drop by and saw this nice blog with delicious cookie so want 2 abt food colouring..what food colouring can i use to put on top of the cookie to decorate it? i dun really noe ur email so i put a comment here..u can contact me at thanks anyway

23 January, 2007 06:20 

Blogger Chatougna said something sweet:

Hey merci pour le comment sur mon blog.

Ca donne vraiment envie ce que tu fais, maintenant j'ai envie de gouter la photo en lechant mon ecran !
T'as pas le meme blog traduit en francais par hasard ? :D

02 February, 2007 13:28 

Blogger Brilynn said something sweet:

This really are great cookies! I've taken to wanting to add fleur to sel to all chocolate concoctions. I made up a nutella cookie recipe and added fleur to sel to that, it was good.

08 February, 2007 00:37 

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