Looking for a sweet indulgence to celebrate Valentine's Day in NYC? Let Jacques Torres (a.k.a. "Mr. Chocolate") steer you in the direction of some top-notch treats perfect for marking the occasion.
'Jacques Torres' on Serious Eats
There are a lot of chocolates in New York City, but not all of them will get you...brownie points on Valentine's Day. From well-executed classics for the purists to more unusual flavor combinations for adventurous chocolate lovers, any one of these 7 choices would make a deliciously thoughtful gift. This year, if you're going to gift chocolate, do it right.
Since its opening, Chelsea Market has proved to be a food and retail mecca in Lower Manhattan. Fresh lobster? Locally sourced duck? Imported Italian Chestnuts? A loaf of bread that was baked before your very eyes? It's all there. The only problem? Its wealth of shops (almost 40 at last count) can be overwhelming. So where should you stop for a sweet bite? Here are our top 7 picks.
These Cashew Polvorones, a recipe from Kir Rodriguez of the French Culinary Institute include finely ground cashews into sweet, crumbly-chewy little shortbread cookies. Once baked and coated with a heavy dusting of confectioners' sugar, you bite into the polvorone and that sweet richness from the cashews really does come through, making us wonder why there aren't more cashew cookies out there.
From the man known as Mr. Chocolate, we bring you the most chocolaty of chocolate chip cookies. Adapted for One Sweet Cookie, Jacques Torres's Chocolate Chip Cookies are more chocolate than cookie, striated with chards and chunks of bittersweet chocolate with just the right amount of butter and salt.
This was by far one of the most violent taste tests we've had at Serious Eats world headquarters—we butchered off ears, cottontails, and hind legs, trying not to think too hard about former fluffy pets or Thumper. But hey, we needed to find the best of the hippity-hoppity chocolate Easter rabbits (and carving matzo wouldn't have been as fun).
I was able to attend a bean-to-bar class and chocolate tasting led by none other than Jacques Torres, master chocolatier and dean of pastry arts at my alma mater, the French Culinary Institute. Eating chocolate all the time, you sometimes forget how amazing and magical the chocolate-making process really is, not to mention how much time, effort and care goes into the production. Read this little bean-to-bar tutorial to understand the basics better.