Food + Drink

Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic from Yigit Pura

The long-anticipated first cookbook from Bravo’s Top Chef Just Desserts Season 1 winner Yigit PuraSweet Alchemy, has arrived! Yigit is about to embark on a multi-city tour at Williams-Sonoma locations throughout the US (details below), demonstrating techniques plus a recipe from the book, and autographing copies. Chronicle Books, Williams-Sonoma, and Yigit would love to see your photos from the events, so use hashtag #SweetAlchemy if you please!

Gail Simmons, Top Chef host, has this to say about the book:

“Sweet Alchemy is a declaration of love! From the way Yigit describes his first memories of caramel to his most complex and layered recipe, he arms you with the techniques you need to make sure you’re as succesful in your kitchen as he is in his.”

Enjoy this recipe from the book, and look out for Yigit on the road starting next week.


Moist Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Flake Sea Salt

These are a wonderful sweet treat, with a couple of small shifts to the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. A sure way to put a smile on friends’ faces, be they nine or ninety. There are days that I try to be inconspicuous at Tout Sweet (a “secret shopper” of sorts), and it is a joy to watch people’s faces light up as they bite into this simple cookie. Chocolate chip cookies aren’t a part of the culture in Turkey, and my anne (mom), an amazing baker, never made them when I was growing up. But I imagine that Americans’ dessert nostalgia must involve a buttery, gooey, chocolaty cookie like this one.

Yields 40 cookies.

210 g | 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5 g | 1/2 tsp baking soda
3 g | 1/2 tsp kosher salt
345 g | 12 oz 64% to 70% dark chocolate
1/2 vanilla bean or 6 g |1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
145 g | 2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
115 g | 1/2 cup plus heaping 1 tbsp granulated sugar
115 g | 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
100 g | 2 whole eggs
5 g | 2 tsp Maldon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, bak­ing soda, and kosher salt over a large bowl or piece of parchment paper; set aside. Break the chocolate into 1/4- to 1/2-in (6- to 12-mm) pieces, divide into two equal piles, and set aside. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife and then use the knife to scrape the seeds from the pod. Discard the pod or reserve for use in another recipe for added vanilla flavor.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, at high speed, combine the butter, the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean or the vanilla bean paste, and both sugars; beat until fully combined and the color begins to change to a lighter shade of yellow. (Do not overwhip.) As soon as the color starts to change, slow the speed of the mixer and add the eggs; beat until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture and  mix until just incorporated. Add one pile of the chocolate and mix until just combined.

Use a #24 scoop to scoop 2-in (5-cm) balls of the dough onto the parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with a small amount of the sea salt, and stand a piece of chocolate up in the top of each ball. Bake for 5 minutes, turn the pan 180 degrees, and bake for another 5 minutes, until the center is gooey and the edges are crispy. As soon as you take the baking sheet out of the oven, slam it against the counter to remove any air bubbles and encourage gooey, not doughy, cookies. Use a metal spatula to set the warm cookies on a cooling rack, and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Sweet Note: I like my cookies flat and gooey instead of doughy and filled with air. The trick to getting them this way is to not whip too much air into the batter and to smack the baking sheet against your counter just after removing it from the oven.

Sweet Alchemy book tour, hosted by Williams-Sonoma:

Columbus Circle, New York City
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 6:00pm
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
(212) 581-1146
Purchase tickets

Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 6:00pm
1705 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 571-0589
Purchase tickets

King of Prussia
Friday, August 22, 2014 at 1:00pm
160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 265-5970
Purchase tickets

Lincoln Park, Chicago
Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 12:00pm
1550 N Fremont St., Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 255-0643
Purchase tickets

Highland Village, Houston
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 6:00pm
4060 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77027
(713) 212-0346
Purchase tickets

Beverly Hills
Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 6:00pm
339 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 274-9127
Purchase tickets

Union Square, San Francisco
Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:00pm
340 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 362-9450
Purchase tickets

Peter Perez
Associate Director Marketing, Food & Drink

Photos: Frankie Frankeny


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