Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon Cobbler

This is one of the least photogenic foods I have ever made, which is unfortunate because it is also one of the most sumptuously decadent things I can remember having eaten. I got the idea from a recipe I saw online for a chocolate peanut butter thing. I think the original has about 3 too many things going on at once. 2 kinds of chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, cinnamon... So I pared it down a little. Also, the original recipe makes a zillion of these guys, and even a half recipe is more than I know what to do with. Alas. Here's my version:

for the topping:

1 scant cup packed brown sugar
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped pretty small
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

for the dough:

1 1/4 cups AP flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
about 1/2 cup half & half
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

for the pans:

about 6 oz semisweet chocolate, broken or chopped up
about 3/4 cup hazelnut butter
about 1 to 1 1/2 cups half & half

I recommend using 8, 4 or 6-oz ramekins or oven safe teacups to cook these in. The original instructions say to use 8-oz ramekins, and I think that makes them larger than one person can reasonably eat. Not saying that I don't want to, but...sigh. Go for half-cup size servings. You can always have another if one is not enough. Also, teacups would make them look fancier.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Oil the baking dishes and set them on a cookie sheet, because the contents will overflow a bit.

Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Put about 1 oz broken chocolate and a generous tablespoon of hazelnut butter in each baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients for the dough together. Add the liquid ingredients and mix the dough quickly until all the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. It should make a very stiff dough, about twice as thick as cake batter. Spoon even portions into each ramekin. Don't worry about pushing the dough down too much or covering the pan evenly. It's actually better if the dough has holes in it and sticks up a bit. Divide the topping over the cobblers, and add enough half & half to each one to fill the dish to within about 1/4 inch from the top.

The original recipe said to cook them for 45 minutes, but if you make them smaller like this, 30 minutes should be sufficient. They should still be a little bubbly around the edges when they're done. Let them cool for a bit before you serve them with some ice cream.


I used these things from Trader Joe's called semi-sweet callets. They come in little ziploc baggies and very helpfully have a thing on the label that says "6 disks = 1oz". I put about 5 or 6 broken ones in the bottom of each 8 oz dish, you may have to adjust the quantity if you use smaller ramekins.

I also made my own hazelnut butter, because I couldn't find any at the store, and in any case, I suspect that if I had, it would have cost an arm and a leg to buy more than I could use. So I got a little baggie of toasted, unsalted hazelnuts from the nut man at the farmer's market, and put them in the mini-prep. Use the grind setting and process them until they achieve the texture you want. You'll probably have to stir it up a few times, and add a touch of salt. I made mine weeks ago, around the time of the spinach apple salad, and kept the hazelnut butter in the fridge.