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Feb 11, 2012 10:01 AM

Do Jacque Torres chocolate chip cookies (nytimes recipe) really live up to their name?

Its raved about everywhere on the internet and I cant help but wonder how they would compare to Thomas Keller Ad Hoc at Home chocolate chip cookies. I probably will compare both recipes but are they really that good? The Jacque Torres ones will be made with Valrhona Guanaja 70% cacao fèves or i might take the subway over to his shop for the chocolate discs he makes for his cookies(72% cacao). The Thomas Keller ones will be a mix of chopped Valrhona Guanaja 70% cacao and chopped Valrhona Le Noir 61% cacao (I know the Keller ones need 55% cacao rather than 61% but there really isn't any high quality chocolate in that percentage that I know of) Im secretly hoping for the Jacque Torres ones to be better as I might find myself splurging on Amedei should Ad Hoc win. I would have splurged on Amedei for both but they dont make fèves or discs and I would like a fair fight between both cookies by using Valrhona. The Keller recipe, though, will be changed to include a light sprinkling of sea salt and have 36 hours refrigeration just like the Torres recipe.

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  1. Try them! But make sure you let the dough age a couple of days in the refrigerator. My search ended for a cc cookie after I tried these so I can't give you a comparison, let us know how they turn out for you.

    1. I'm one of the few who don't think the JT cookies live up to the hype. I've made them both with the Valrhona fèves and with discs I bought in his shop. I thought both the disks and the fèves were too big, as were the cookies themselves. One of my problems with the JT cookie is that it has to be large for it to have the right texture and I just don't care for that big a cookie. I found that people to whom I served them were breaking them in half and sharing them and I don't think a cookie should have to be shared.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        According to my understanding the purpose of using discs was to provide layers of chocolate to with each bite of the cookie, so as to satisfy the cravings of a true chocoholic. After all, Jacques Torres is known as Mr. Chocolate.

        You used both the Valrhona feves and the Jacque Torres discs? Can I ask you a question? I understand the Jacques Torres chocolate discs were specifically manufactured as a couverture chocolate that melts beautifully. How do the Valrhona feves compare in terms of melting??? Did you value one over the other?

        1. re: Eric_Cartman

          Your understanding is the same as mine had been before I tried it, but in the baked cookie instead of layers of chocolate, there were just large sections of soft chocolate. Some bites had a lot of chocolate and very little cookie. What can I say? It wasn't what I wanted a CCC to be.

          Valrhona makes fèves from many different blends. I bought mine from Whole Foods and they had clearly been repackaged from a much larger quantity. I think the ones I bought were Guanaja 70%, but I can't swear to it. I just bought what it was that WF carried at the time. My recollection (I made these a couple of years ago and months apart) is that there was no memorable difference in how the two chocolates melted, but I did prefer the flavor of the Torres disks. The Torres disks were also significantly more expensive; at least half again as much.

          I'll be very curious to hear what you decide to do, and what you think of the results.

          1. re: JoanN

            Thanks Joan. It seems you tried to give the cookie another chance and still found the results less than favorable. I might stop by the Jacques Torres shop and check how the actual cookie should taste to get an idea of the results I should expect. Should it not agree with me like in your experience, I might abandon the cookie. Just called them and found out that they use 60% cacao and not 70% cacao in the cookies they sell but still sell discs in both those percentages. The 60% cacao is considerably less expensive than the 70% at Jacque Torres too. :) So I guess I'll be comparing the 60% Jacques Torres to the Valrhona Le Noir 61% cacao fèves.

            Will get back to you on the results.

      2. With some slight modifications, it is absolutely one of the very best chocolate chip cookies I've made, and when people try my JT cookies for the first time they are in agreement. I used ghiradelli disks, and I use a smaller ice cream scoop (2-inch diameter). I probably cook them the same time as specified for the larger cookies. I agree with JoanN that the JT cookies are too big, but using a smaller scoop gives me the kind of cookie I like, which is more crispy throughout rather than a chewy, cakey interior. But those are the only two changes I made and I'll probably not use another recipe again.

        5 Replies
        1. re: janniecooks

          Imho, David Leite's explanation of the recipe makes the best cc cookies I've had. People keep asking me to make them.

          1. re: petitgateau

            I looked for Leite's explanation but all I found on his site was the recipe. A side-by-side comparison of the recipe on Leite's Culinaria with the JT recipe shows no differences. Leite's recipe IS Torres' recipe. Am I missing your point?

          2. re: janniecooks

            Unlike you, I love the idea of a gradation of texture that comes with a larger cookie, one that features nice crisp edges and gives in to a chewy soft interior. Plus, nothing is more annoying than me trying to watch White Collar on tv only for me to miss some of what they're saying just because of all that crunching noise when I eat crispy cookies.

            1. re: janniecooks

              I haven't made the JT cookies yet, but I've bought them on occasion. While I like the idea of the flattened chocolate permeating the cookie in theory, in practice it throughs the cookie out of balance. Especially given that it's a high quality dark chocolate, a whole cookie is just TOO MUCH intense chocolate flavor. I would cut the actual amount of chocolate called for in the recipe in half.

              1. re: sbp

                I'm not sure how the Ghiradelli discs compare to the Valrhona in size, and perhaps they aren't discs at all, but they are definitely larger than chocolate chips. Maybe just big chocolate chips, a little flatter, and I used the same weight as specified in the recipe. I didn't feel that the chocolate was overwhelming, and wouldn't change a thing. But I might feel differently if I had access to better quality chocolate at my local markets!

            2. I LOVED the JT chocolate chip cookie. Such a perfect cookie (especially about 10 min after it comes out of the oven!)

              Now you have me curious to try Thomas Keller's to compare as well! :)

              1. I love the recipe, don't like the large discs/feves in them. I prefer to chop chocolate, various sizes--the small pieces melt into the dough and the larger ones remain for the chocolate-y goodness but still melts. I've tried Valrhona feves (not sure the percentage, whatever WF carried) and eGuittard chocolate chips which were high 72%. My favorite is chopping Trader Joe's big block of bittersweet chocolate. The texture of the cookies can't be beat, imo, as ccc go--crispy on the outside, nice chew on the inside, chocolate melts in your mouth. I think all ccc improve with long refrigeration of the dough. I like Keller's idea of mixing percent chocolate and will try that next time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chowser

                  I also chop us TJ's bittersweet block when I make these cookies, and I also think they are fabulous. I make them small (probably just a tablespoon of dough and two large chunks of chocolate per cookie), and I still find the texture to be perfect. During a long period in which I could not find my kitchen scale, I measured the ingredients out by hand many, many times. The difference, after I found the scale and weighed the dry ingredients instead, was astonishing. They are great both ways, but in the future I will pack my scale when I intend to make these at someone else's house.