Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Petites Trianons


Page 73 in the old book / page 119 in the new book

Petites Trianons fall somewhere between brownies and cake. The batch I made was cakey and a little drier than I would have liked. I baked them for exactly 28 minutes as prescribed by Maida, but I can't help but wonder if I should have taken them out a little sooner. She describes them as "small, plain, fudgelike squares similar to Brownies...", but they were fudge-like in taste only.

These bars are easily mixed in a saucepan, so this was truly a no-fuss recipe. I bought a big chunk of Callebaut baking chocolate (sold by the pound in Whole Foods) which I used for these and will be using for the next few recipes. The cookies tasted great, but I'm not sure I can detect the difference between a good baking chocolate and an "ordinary" baking chocolate (such as Baker's or Hershey's). It would be interesting to do a side by side comparison some time. It has been a while since I last made brownies and I must say, there are few things in this world that smell as good as chocolate and butter baking together - no matter which kind of baking chocolate you use!

I wouldn't choose to make these again because I prefer a moister brownie, but if you like cakey brownies, you can't beat this recipe for simplicity.

Even though this wasn't a stunning debut for the bar cookies, I think everyone was pretty happy to be getting their chocolate fix again...

Suzanne: "This was a cakey brownie and a little dry. The brownie did not have a rich dark chocolate flavor that I like in a brownie. Rating - 3.0"

Denny: "Very good. I liked the cake-like texture very much. Very good. Rating - 4.2"

Laura: "Moist, yummy, & TASTY! Rating - 4.0"

Phil: "This 'cookie' was exactly as Cathy advertised - like brownies, but a little cakier. My sample was a smidge dry, with a subtle but lasting after taste of fine chocolate. Was expecting something a little more elegant with this moniker but c'est la vie. Rating - 3.3"

Overall rating by the panel - 3.6

Next week - All-American Brownies

Nutrition Facts

14 comments:

Nic said...

Browsing through Maida books, I wondered what exactly Trianons were. Nice to see them! I have mixed feelings about cake-like brownies, but I can't wait to see how some of her other ones turn out!

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - I wrote this so late, I forgot to address the naming of these cookies. Maida says in the notes that the cookies are French, so I though perhaps the name was a traditional name. I hunted the web without success for some background. The only other mentions of the word Trianon that I can find are references to a couple of palaces near Versailles. According to the Versailles website, "Trianon is the name of a village which Louis XIV purchased and then demolished in order to build 'a house for partaking of collations' (light meals)." This first "house" is called the Grand Trianon and a nearby chateau built by Louis the XV is called the Petit Trianon. I have no idea if this is relevant and the difference in gender makes me wonder even more.

Zarah Maria said...

I'm into the fudgy, gooey type of brownie, so I might pass on making these myself - but they look good!

Cathy said...

Hi Zarah - I agree... they do taste good, though, it's just the texture that is not to my liking. Next week's cookies are just a slight variation on this recipe (half the flour and added nuts), so it will be interesting to compare.

violet said...

i did the same thing with my nutella cupcakes i got from nic's blog. i should have taken them out just a smidge sooner.

oh and thanks for that informative entry about cinnamon a few days back. brilliant!

Cathy said...

Hi Violet - yeah, if I were to make these again, I think I'd go with 25 or 26 minutes.

Glad you enjoyed the post on cinnamon! I really enjoyed working on it.

Alice said...

Did you try them frozen, as the book suggested? It seems to me, also, that they should have been more "wet". It's so fun following along, now that I've got all the recipes to read!!

Cathy said...

Hi Alice - No, I didn't - it was such a small batch, I just tried one before I brought them in to work. I thought about that just recently. I'm sure you're right, that probably would make them fudgy and moist. I love chocolate cake that has been refrigerated.

Niki said...

This is very interesting; now I have the book I really enjoy reading a review about each recipe, and whether I should try them or maybe not. I think this one has potential, but possibly not quite enough....

Cathy said...

Hi Niki - unless you like your brownies cakey, wait until next week. The only difference is less flour - but it makes a big difference!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

I don't really like cake-style brownies and I would honestly prefer these a lot "moister". Too bad, they sounded good.

Cathy said...

Hi Reid! Like I told Niki - come back next week, you won't be disappointed!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Cathy but it must be your technique that went wrong. I have made these petites trianons often and they are just as Maida Heatter said they are. I bet you overmixed them and/or overbaked them. Whenever you overmix a brownie--you develop too much gluten which will make a cakier brownie. Give these another try. We just love them.
Pie Susan

Ann said...

Hi, Cathy! This weekend, my son Max (who is 9) asked if he could bake something all by himself. Well, it was kind of late in the evening, and I didn't want to be up all night baking cookies, so I picked these. As we were mixing them (and then tasting them), they reminded me of a recipe my mom makes called "Chocolate Chews". I compared the recipes, and they are IDENTICAL in ingredients, quantities, and method. My mom's recipe card calls for an 8 x 8 pan, but she always uses a 9 x 13, tops them with finely chopped pecans, and bakes them for 18-20. Either way, the flavor is wonderful. (You know, I read your notes and then baked them for exactly 26.5 minutes, and they were PERFECT.) Have you tried them again since you first made them?

Thanks again for this blog, Cathy. It has re-inspired the baker in me! :)