Chef Pierre Hermé shares his chocolate shortbread cookie recipe

French pastry chef Pierre Hermé’s chocolate shortbread cookies. (Instagram pic)

PARIS: The maestro of macarons Pierre Hermé has shared a kid-friendly recipe for sablé chocolate cookies, the French version of shortbread cookies.

Since the March start of the lockdown forcing households across France to self-isolate at home, the French pastry chef has been sharing some of his insider baking tips with followers at home and his contingent of international fans abroad.

His latest recipe requires less than 10 ingredients and is described as a kid-friendly recipe that families can prepare together.

French pastry chef Pierre Hermé’. (AFP pic)

The secret to his sablé recipe? Make sure not to overbake. “…in order to be good, the shortbread must be underdone.”

Likewise, if you don’t have fleur de sel, the fancy French salt that this recipe calls for, the chef says you can replace it with salt, but to reduce the quantity from 3 g to 2 g.

Ingredients

  • 3 g fleur de sel
  • 150 g butter
  • 120 g brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 150 g coating Guanaja 70% cocoa (@valrhonausa)
  • 175 g flour
  • 5 g natural liquid vanilla extract
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 5 g baking soda

Method

  • Cut the chocolate into small pieces.
  • Mix and sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda.
  • Soften the butter and incorporate both sugars (brown and caster), the salt and liquid vanilla, then add the flour/cocoa/baking soda and roughly chopped chocolate.
  • Mix as little as possible, as with a shortcrust pastry.
  • Shape into rolls of about 4 cm diameter.
  • Put in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Cut into slices of a good centimetre large. Put on an oven rack covered with silicone paper.
  • Bake for 11/12 minutes at 170°C in a preheated oven.

Notes, advice and tips:

  • The baking time is highly important, in order to be good, the shortbread must be underdone.
  • The use of fleur de sel allows to tone down the effect of saltiness, if you choose to replace it with table salt, you have to reduce the weight to 2 g.

Conservation:

  • You can make the dough a couple days ahead, store it in the fridge or freezer and bake it as you need it. Store for a few days in a sealed container, shielded from the humidity.