Pierre Hermé's Chocolate Sablés

Thursday, 8 August 2013

If I could control the way the wind blows, you’d probably be feasting your eyeballs on a hazelnut almond dacquoise. 

Apparently though, there is some crazy machinery that can control the wind, and it in turn, control the weather. If I could just get my hands on that piece of machinery, things would be a whole lot different. I could have used said machinery (god knows if its even a machine) and be like: “Wind, how about you blow that way today, and not on that gigantic piece of wood hovering over my pretty little rectangular torte which was JUST enrobed in the silkiest and most delicious ganache?”

After a laughing fit mixed with tears, I was so close to just leaving the thing to lye there forever. 


The dacquoise inventor, Joanne Chang from Flour Bakery suggested I made parfaits with the crushed remains, I took her advice, obviously, the woman has knack. 

It was like throwing my aching heart into a glass and drinking it as if it were a glass of red.

RE ganache, 150g  37% (Green & Blacks), 150g 33.6% milk (any brand, just to soothe the taste a little), 100g 70% dark chocolate  (Green & Blacks) and 480g double cream = go there.

Cue rebound sables. Egg whites play a key role in giving these biscuits the crumbliest texture. We like things that melt in our mouths, yes? A small amount of icing sugar provides just a smidge of sweetness, and the corn flour content within the icing sugar also lifts the texture to a feeling in my gob I’ve never quite experienced before.

We won’t need much cocoa - a little goes a long way here. But it has to be dutch processed because its not as sweet, has a deeper colour (which darkens the cookies better than natural cocoa when baking, to make them look even more delicate) and smoother taste. Smooth is good when its coupled with crumbly. Crumbly, smooth, short sables right outta Pierre Herm’s kitchen.

As I had a bunch of nuts lying around from the previous disaster, I’ve made these sables go four humble ways.

Feeling a little…. 


Or maybe you’re just feeling downright crazy?


Like you could dip yourself into a pool of chopped hazelnuts?

Pierre Hermé's Chocolate Sablés

The Recipe:

30g dutch process cocoa powder
3 tbsp egg whites
100g icing sugar
260g plain flour
250g unsalted butter, very soft
Pinch sea salt

100g Green & Blacks milk or white chocolate, melted
chopped nuts or sprinkles
1m (open star) nozzle & disposable piping bag

The Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C and line to baking sheets with parchment paper.

This bit is important. Sift the cocoa, flour and salt and set aside.

Make sure the butter is very soft. Place in a bowl and whisk until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar and whisk until paler in colour. Add the egg white, mix until blended.

Stop the mixer. Pour in the flour mixture. Whisk on medium speed until just incorporated.

Fit a piping bag with a 1M nozzle and spoon the mixture inside, make sure there are no air bubbles. Pipe W's onto the baking sheets, spaced a couple centimetres apart.

Bake for 11 minutes - no longer. The cookies will be delicate - leave to cool on the sheets and then transfer to a sealed jar.

To decorate, dip in melted chocolate, then dip in sprinkles or nuts. Leave to dry on parchment paper.

Biscuits will last up to one week.

When my torte died, I thought to myself - how the hell did you scrape the short list when you’re this much of a careless clutz? Then I remembered that some of you nominated, then I made this ingenious recipe. Then I shared the recipe. Now I feel better.

Voting for the Cosmopolitan Awards ends this month; if you fancy giving me your vote, please click here and go to the “Best Food Blogger’ category

Thank you! Love and peace, Em xx


  1. Those look so good. I have to try them one day. What is the texture of the batter like before it is baked? Could you pipe it like meringue cookies?

  2. Thank you Autumn! The texture is not as soft and smooth as meringue and you have to apply a little more pressure when piping. The dough can crack a bit when piping too, but these all get baked out in the oven! It was actually really fun to pipe with, they hold their shape too so you could pipe tall rosettes for a viennese whirl if you wanted to :)

  3. In your description you say "and the corn flour within that also lifts the texture to a feeling in my gob I’ve never quite
    experienced before." but in the recipe itself it says plain flour. I am a little confused as to which I should use.....corn flour or plain flour? Looking forward to trying these. Thank you!


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