September 2, 2013
Mano’s Chocolate Chunk & Chip Cookies in Manila
If Mano's Pomeranians don't charm you, his gooey chocolate chip cookies will
Name: Manuel Lotho
Dish: Thomas Keller’s Chocolate Chunk & Chip Cookies (more or less)
Daily uniform: T-shirt, good pair of pants, and a sweater
I have a few: Pomeranians
In the kitchen, I swear by: A scale
The taste I couldn’t live without: Uni and wasabi
Hidden talents: Drake impersonations
If my kitchen could talk, it would say: <insert oven here> (Hence me using my friend’s kitchen!)
Latest splurge: A fit of trainers, Muji storage containers, and boxes of Ball mason jars
Last place I traveled: Hong Kong, to catch Blur live in concert
In life, what is most important to me is: Happiness, in whatever form it decides to
I get nervous when: I look at the coffer and the coffer is empty
My top 5 meals: Food has always been a place marker for me—it’s something visceral to which you can anchor memories. I’ve been fortunate enough over the last two years to be able to travel with my family and friends. Here are the highlights in no particular order:
1. Dragooning our Filipino tour group to Bonci Pizzarium in Rome
2. Every time my friends and I have walked to Butao Ramen in Hong Kong
3. Long meals at Il Forno after a whole day spent walking through Siem Reap, Cambodia
4. Any of the third and fourth generation food stalls at Petaling Street Kuala Lumpur
5. Dim sum from Tim Ho Wan or Lei Garden in Hong Kong
My motto: Be anything, but feckless
Chocolate Chunk & Chip Cookies
238 grams (1 1/2 cups + 3tbsp) all purpose flour
2.3 grams (1/2 tsp) baking soda
3 grams (1 tsp) kosher salt
134 grams (1/2 cup + 2tbsp lightly packed) dark brown sugar
12 grams ( 1 3/4 tsp) unsulfured blackstrap molasses
104 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tsp) granulated sugar
107 grams (2/3 cup) 70% chocolate chunks 3/8 inch
107 grams (scant 1/2 cup) chocolate chips
167 grams (5.9 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
60 grams ( 3 tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp) eggs
Place the flour in a medium bowl. Sift in the baking soda. Add the salt and whisk together. Place the dark brown sugar in a small bowl and stir in the molasses and granulated sugar, breaking up any lumps; the mixture will not be completely smooth.
Place the chocolate chunks in a strainer and tap the side to remove any powdered chocolate, which would cloud the cookies. Mix with the chocolate chips.
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn to medium-low speed and cream the butter, warming the bowl if needed, until it is the consistency of mayonnaise and holds a peak when the paddle is lifted. Add the molasses mixture and mix for 3 to 4 minutes, until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the eggs and mix on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until just combined. Scrape the bowl again. The mixture may look broken, but that is fine (overwhipping the eggs could cause the cookies to expand too much during baking and then deflate).
Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that have settled there. Add the chocolate and pulse on low speed about 10 times to combine. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
Position the racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat to 325F. Line two sheet pans with Siplats or parchment paper. Using the ice cream scoop, divide the dough into 6 equal positions, 150 grams each. Roll each one into a ball between the palms of your hands.
The cookies are very large; bake only 3 on each pan. With a short end of the pan toward you, place one cookie in the upper left corner, one in the lower left corner and the third one in the center, toward the right side of the pan. Bring the dough to room temperature before baking.
Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes in a convection oven, 18 to 20 minutes in a standard oven, reserving the positions of the pans halfway through baking. Se the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
Photography by Gabby Cantero