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If you follow me on Twitter (@DessertBoutique) then you know that chocolate has been on my mind. I’ve been putting a few ideas to work and this seems to be the perfect place to start.
Okay – I can be a bit backward, and I say this with absolutely no shame. So I further embrace my awkwardness when I tell you that I like looking at chocolate far more than I like eating it. Yeah – I know, but it’s the truth and I’m shaming the devil! It smells good, looks good, and so much can be done with it. However, there’s one thing I haven’t found. Why isn’t there a chocolate essential oil? It has been proven to have wonderfully positive effects on moods whether male or female; young or old; lover of sweets or not. Somebody should get started on that – hint hint.
Just like life, chocolate is calming. It forces you to be patient. It provokes creativity. It can be bitter. It can be sweet. The option for variety and change is always there. It’s great in large doses, or even a little at a time. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.
Let’s get started.
Line your cookie sheet ( a heavy one would be the best choice) with parchment paper.
Chop, grate, or process 3 1/2 oz to 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate.
Then Sift! 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder, 3 Tbsp sugar, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 plus a pinch salt. Then toss with a fork.
Cut 5 Tbsp butter into the drys with a pastry cutter or fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas.
Combine 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp and 2 tsp vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the cream/vanilla mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined. Knead the dough gently 3 or 4 times to pick up any dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl and then form a loose ball with the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into an 8-inch square. The thickness totally depends on you. I like a relatively thin bruschetta. You might like yours more biscuity (yes, it’s a word – my word). Anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 inch will do. The thinner you make the dough the more area it will cover. Your 8-inch square may end up being 8 1/2 to 9 inches, and that’s just fine.
Once you’ve determined what you want, wrap the square in plastic wrap and refrigerate it (on the cookie sheet or some other flat surface that will fit into your fridge) for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Remove the dough from the fridge and trim the edges.
Now, I would tell to cut the dough into a set amount of smaller squares, but again, this depends entirely on you. You may want to make little hor d’oeuvre size bruschettas or whopper (regular not junior) size ones. I cut mine into 9 squares and placed them roughly 2 inches apart.
Brush each square with a little cream and top with a little sugar. I sprinkled brown sugar. Brown or white will suit.
Bake about 17 minutes. They will look a bit dry, but should be firm to the touch when done.
Top with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, freshly whipped cream, MORE chocolate, pistachios, or whatever else your heart desires. The chocolate flavor is intense yet forgiving. So don’t be shy. You should have enough squares to experiment. Have fun!