Wednesday, 11 October 2017

National Chocolate Week | Baking With Guittard Chocolates* | Baking Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes.

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Hey! Welcome back to day 3 of this, a week long series of posts for National Chocolate Week! I hope you have enjoyed the two previous posts, featuring Creative Nature's Brownie Mix and Find Me A Gift's Classic Chocolate Cake Baking Kit! 

Today I'd like to introduce you to a brand I hadn't heard of before - Guittard Chocolates. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did putting it together for you! 



Chocolate. Everyone loves it, I know I do! Baking with it is even better! Sometimes it's difficult to find the right kind of chocolate to put in your cakes and bakes because a lot of it depends on what exactly it is you're baking and how you intend to use the chocolate. 

Personally I just use cocoa powder in my cakes or occasionally put chocolate chips in my cupcakes but have never actually used proper baking chocolate before. Thankfully Guittard sent over a massive box full for me to get to grips with! Keep reading to see what I came up with! 

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"....our premiem line of chocolates crafted for the pastry chef, artisan chocolatier and chocolate lover. Made in small batches from the highest quality cocoa beans in a centuries old French artisan tradition, Collection Etienne delivers the same quality chocolate used by top professional pastry chefs to home bakers."  (Source)

I wasn't sure what to make this time around so I dug out my copy of The Hummingbird Bakery Life Is Sweet cookbook and had a flip through to see what caught my eye. I eventually went for the 'Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes' because I hadn't made anything from this cookbook previously and I thought they sounded different! I used the Guittard Real Semisweet Baking Chips this time around and I found them really easy to use. 

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These are a sort of chocolate chip cookie in a cupcake case. The texture is definitely not supposed to be cake-like, so don't worry when they come out dense and chewy! I was intrigued to find out more because I have never made anything quite like this before! 

To make them follow the recipe below: 

Cupcakes: 

115g unsalted butter
80g caster sugar
75g soft light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping:

100g soft light brown sugar
1 large egg
pinch of salt
170g dark chocolate chips - Guittard Real Semisweet Baking Chips
60g chopped pecans/walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

* Pre-heat oven to 175C (350F)/Gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with the paper muffin cases.

* Using a freestanding electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla extract together for around 5 minutes on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, on a lower speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarb and salt and mix into the wet ingredients on a low speed in one slow but steady addition. Don't overbeat, the mix should be more like a dough. 

*Use a tablespoon to form the mixture into 12 balls (roughly weighing 35g each). Place each one in a paper case and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the topping. 

*Using the mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, egg and salt for 3-4 minutes until thick and lighter in colour. Stir in the chocolate chips, pecans and vanilla by hand. 

*Take the cupcakes out of the oven and spoon one tablespoon of the topping over the partially baked cupcakes. Immediately put them back into the oven and cook for 12 minutes longer. These cupcakes come out as halfway between a cake and a cookie, so not as light and airy as normal cupcakes. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. 

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Ok so they don't quite look like the photo in the cookbook, but I tried! They were fun to make and I really enjoyed using the baking chips for a change. Definitely going to use them in future bakes and see what else I can come up with. 

Guittard have history going back 145 years, it all started during the Gold Rush in San Francisco when Etienne Guittard travelled from France in the hopes of striking it rich, bringing chocolate from his uncle's factory to trade with the miners. Finding that they were willing to pay a premuim for this product, he sailed back to France to finesse his craft, coming back 20 years later to open Guittard Chocolate on Sansome Street in San Fran. 

After the devastating earthquake of 1906, which destroyed not only all of San Francisco but also the Guittard store, they relocated to Main Street with the help of MJB Coffee. This time they focussed soley on chocolate after also selling tea, coffee and spices. 

In 1955 they moved to Burlingame California, making way for the Embarcadero Freeway. Still using vintage equipment in a time when factories were becoming more automated as chocolate making is an artisan craft. A bold leap at that time. 

In 1978 the Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips had their debut, so they've been around quite a while! 

In 2000, Guittard Chocolate Studio opened in New York City! Collection Etienne also launches, where Gary (Etienne's Great-Grandson) references the hand written journals which Etienne kept which referenced single-origin and blends crafted in the small batch French - artisan tradition. 


2007 - Guittard Don't Mess With My Chocolate Campaign / First Hawaiian crop



2008 - Guittard Chocolate Studio moves from NYC to LA 

Today, their craft is as much about making beautifully tasting chocolate as it is about supporting the people and preserving the places behind what we make. As the fifth generation joins the company, we continue to find ways to support, explore and grow with their extended family of customers, co-workers, farmers and suppliers. 

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I would recommend these cookie cupcakes if you're not a big fan of cakes but love something sweet, like a cookie in the afternoon or after dinner. They are the perfect combination of cake and cookie! 

I hope you have enjoyed this third instalment for National Chocolate Week! Please let me know if you have been attempting any bakes yourself, I would love to see your creations! Tweet me @sunshinesarahxo


Love, Sarah
xoxoxoxoxo

(*Find the recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery, Life is Sweet Cookbook, available online.*)

*Big thanks to Guittard Chocolates for sending out a selection of your chocolate to use! I have certainly had fun so far! All opinions my own. 
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