Black and Whites: Second Try

There we go. Now that looks more like something you’d see in a Manhattan pastry case, no? Forgive me but I couldn’t leave these alone until I’d gotten a little closer to the ideal. Actually this was my fourth try, as it took three attempts to get the cake where I wanted it. This last pass was all about finishing. What did I do differently? For starters I trimmed the cookies perfectly round with a round cutter after they cooled, like so (four inches worked perfectly for most of them).

Then I used the spoon-over method I described below for the fondant, thinning the stuff just a bit more more than I did the first time (I added a few instructions for that below). Lastly I used a darker cocoa. No, that’s a lie, I actually added a drop of black food coloring to the chocolate fondant to darken it. So sue me. Irrational fear of the Dutching process has made really dark cocoa tough to find these days.

Next time I’ll focus on not letting my fondant get over 100 degrees Fahrenheit so I can get a glossier coat!

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10 Responses to Black and Whites: Second Try

  1. Linda says:

    You should look for the black cocoa that is currently available. It makes a very dark chocolate “whatever”. Nice job on the cookies…uh, cakes.

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Linda!

      Yes I know King Arthur has it but there was no way to get it in time. I know that Hershey also makes a special dark cocoa but it wasn’t at the local Kroger, hence the cheat. But thank you for mentioning that, since a lot of other readers will want to know! Cheers,

      - Joe

  2. Carrie says:

    Fear of the Dutching process? Is that why I can’t find dutched cocoa anywhere? I’ve never heard any bad things about it…

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Carrie!

      Yes it’s sad but true. In some quarters Dutching is considered “processing” of the food, and as we all know, processed food is an evil! I think it’s sad, really. What’s a little potassium carbonate between friends? Also harsh chocolates have been much in vogue here in the States for the last decade, so the aesthetic has been working against Dutching as well. I think that’s turning around a bit now, however. Harsh is fine from time to time, but what do you do when you want something, well…not harsh?

      Thanks for the note!

      - Joe

      • Heather says:

        Great examples I’d say:) also thanks for info re the cocoa – so is it not being produced anymore?

        • joepastry says:

          Black cocoa? It’s around. Dutched cocoa is around as well, though you have to look harder for it than you once did. Droste cocoa is Dutched and it’s available widely in the US.

          - Joe

  3. Mr. Me says:

    Hey, looks like you got a typo in the title. You wrote “Back” instead of “Black”. Unless that’s some play on words I didn’t get. Love the site!

  4. Jodie says:

    Valrhona does a lovely rich dark cocoa, as does Callebaut, but the Valrhona is darker.

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