Are you experiencing mealtime ennui? Does the idea of scrolling through Pinterest yet AGAIN for recipe inspiration fill you with dread? Well, look no further! The Met Artists Recipe Corner is here to provide you with monthly doses of delicious inspiration, featuring the many talented chefs who also happen to work at the Met! This month, meet chorus member Chris Schaldenbrand!
Name: Chris Schaldenbrand
Hometown: Farmington, Michigan
Years at the Met: Debut- 1992
My favorite opera is: Elektra
One of my most memorable experiences at the Met so far is: Verdi’s Requiem.
Other than opera, my favorite type of music is: Club/Electronic music.
When I’m not at the Met, you can find me: At the gym or in the kitchen.
The most outrageous thing I've ever cooked (or eaten) was: Macrobiotic food; I was raised on it, actually. I would take thermoses of seaweed and brown rice to grade school!
The three things in my kitchen I can’t live without are: Sugar, butter, and eggs.
If I had to choose, my three (current) favorite ingredients are: Cinnamon, cardamon, and Maldon sea salt flakes.
Again, if I had to choose, my “last meal” would be: A jar of Nutella.
Bass-baritone Chris Schaldenbrand is the kind of gentleman you want in your life. Besides being a kind, talented, hard-working colleague, he is also an extraordinary baker. His professional-level cakes inspire the fiercest competition at the AGMA Relief Fund Bake Sale’s silent auction, and anything he bakes for a Met Chorus gathering is destined to be both admired, photographed, Instagrammed, and, well, quickly demolished. (Check out how Chris made one of his spectacular Christmas creations here.)
However, Chris doesn’t expect you to roll out the fondant and commit to 5 hours of pastry sculpting. In fact, the recipe he’s recommending today is a delicious riff on everyone’s favorite standby: the chocolate chip cookie. Here’s what he has to say:
“I have many favorite cake recipes, but I thought a cookie recipe would be more accessible to the casual baker who doesn’t want to commit to making a cake.
This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. It comes from the famous chocolatier Jacques Torres. It uses both bread flour and cake flour that gives it an amazing multifaceted texture. For the chocolate chips, I usually use Trader Joes 72% Dark chocolate pound-plus bars and chop them up into bite sized chunks. I love to make these cookies oversized (around 8 oz or more per scoop of raw dough) so you can get substantial chunks of chocolate.”
Legendary Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies
(This recipe was originally posted on the blog Dinner Then Dessert, and can be found here)
Prep Time 1 day 12 hours
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 1 day 12 hours 13 minutes
Servings 55 cookies
· 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
· 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
· 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
· 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
· 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
· 2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
· 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
· 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
· 2 large eggs
· 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
· 1 ¼ pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves , at least 60 percent cacao content
· Sea salt.
1. In a bowl, combine the two flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
2. Using your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be significantly lighter than when you started.
3. Add the eggs in one at a time, making sure they are mixed in well after each one. Don't worry about over-mixing yet, there is no flour in the bowl.
4. Add in the vanilla. Lower the speed and add in the flour mixture for just a few seconds until it is mixed in. This is when you should worry about over-mixing,
5. Add in the chocolate fèves and mix carefully with spatula to prevent breakage.
6. Take the bowl off the stand mixture and cover the dough with plastic wrap as if it was a guacamole. Letting air get to the dough will dry it out in a bad way.
7. Refrigerate for 36 hours. Technically you could for 24, but trust me go for 36.
8. Preheat your oven to 350 degree F or 176C.
9. Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, put them onto a baking sheet.
10. Sprinkle the tops with sea salt. I love Maldon Sea Salt.
11. Bake for 11-13 minutes.
12. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes.
13. Best enjoyed warm.
14. This made 55 cookies for me, 39 of which we froze for later use! It is the gift that keeps on giving.
15. Alternately, here is text from the original recipe for larger cookies: Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes