April 7, 2013


We made bouchons this week. The bouchon is recognized by word alone as it part of Thomas Keller's establishments, Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery. But what is it exactly? This classic item offered at Bouchon Bakery is small and the perfect portion for indulging a little and getting a lot. The richness and decadence making it the ultimate chocolate treat. Glass of milk please.

The iconic shape comes from the fact that "bouchon" translates to cork or the stopper at the mouth of a wine bottle. In French "bouche" means mouth. At Bouchon Bakery, they use a specific mold to get the shape and it can be purchased exclusively through the Williams-Sonoma website. This week the bakers used the pan, while our guest baker had success making the bouchons in an aluminum muffin tin. These little cakes come out great, regardless of the type of pan.

16 bouchons, standard measure, standard bake, 18 minutes

I was so excited to make the signature treat from Bouchon Bakery. After all, these little chocolate treats are its namesake. These require a special mold, make exclusively for Williams-Sonoma. Fortunately, I was able to get one at work. The shape resembles little corks.

The batter was almost like a brownie batter, with chocolate chips inside. It used a new technique to me, melting half the butter first and then mixing it in with the rest of the butter. It really did turn creamy and thick. After waiting the allotted 2 hours, I baked off the little corks and when they came out of the oven, they were popping right out of the molds. So cute! I baked them for a few minutes longer than recommended because they didn't seem done yet, and my instincts were right. After a few more minutes they were perfect!

With a light sprinkling of powdered sugar, these were ready to eat! They are perfect little bite sized treats, perfect for a midnight snack. I was glad to be able to taste them, because when we went to Bouchon Bakery I was recovering from food poisoning, so I wasn't able to try any. Instead my husband ate all 10 that I brought home for him. So I had to make my own in order to get a taste. It was worth the effort!

12 bouchons per batch, metric measure, convection bake

I couldn't wait to make the bouchons. I made four batches and preparing the mise en place took longer than usual. Mixing the ingredients was a breeze and not as intense as I imagined it to be. The batter sat for two hours as required. I piped the batter in the mold using a 5/8" tip since I used chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips. I didn't use chocolate chips as I prefer a softer chocolate once the bouchons are cooled. The batter was velvety smooth! I baked the first batch for the allotted time and they didn't bake thoroughly. I found I somehow turned the oven down to 300˚ instead of 350˚. After reheating the oven all other three batches turned out perfectly. The four batches yielded 48 bouchons ready to be tackled by my weekend guests. The bouchons were so smooth and moist. They were consumed before I could complete my photo. They were that delicious, the best ever! This bake has been the highlight of everything baked to date.

15 bouchons, metric measure, standard bake, 18 minutes

I'll admit when I go to pick a dessert, I almost always pick anything but chocolate. I love it but it's always so rich. Then these bouchons comes along and of course I devour 6 because they are the perfect size for my sweet fix. Two bites. I did use the Bouchon pan and I could have filled them a little closer to the top. I was afraid they would overflow but they don't rise too much and as they cool, they sink just slightly. I got 15 but really could have made just 12.

I, like Tania, was fascinated by the technique for getting butter to room temperature resulting in a creamy, pudding-like texture. The batter was a little messy to get into the mold using a spoon so piping them would be much faster. I did bake 2 extra minutes because they weren't all quite set. These chocolate cakes were rich and similar to a brownie, closer to fudgy than cakey. My favorite part was biting into the chocolate chips.

Standard bake, Metric measure
This were a very straight-forward recipe to prepare. The batter perfectly filled the 12 bouchon silicone mold. I found that I had to bake them a few extra minutes to get a clean toothpick. Although I generously sprayed the mold with non-stick spray there were a few that were difficult to unfold - even after cooling for a short time. I also have many friends who can't - or choose not to - eat gluten so I will make sure to keep some of the Cup 4 Cup flour on hand. Especially for these since so little flour is required.

Guest Baker: Jo Wong
12 bouchons, convection oven, 14 minutes
Special Equipment: DROMMAR aluminum muffin tin from Ikea

Just wanted you to know the $10 pan from IKEA worked out great! This is my second trial batch, my first trial batch was baked in a silicon pan as recommended by the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Perhaps silicon pans bake better in an electric oven. 

My second batch was baked in a nonstick aluminum pan found at IKEA for $10.  The results turned out much better as the metal pan was a better conductor of heat.  The only modification to the recipe was baking the batter in the metal pan.  The baking time was adjust for an extra 2 minutes.  This was a simple recipe to make and the instructions were easy to follow.  I was able to get 12 bouchons of varying heights out of one batch. Next time, I will make a double or a triple batch.  I found them quite sweet and will try decreasing the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.  They turned out great!

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