Jacques Torres' Quick and Easy Desserts

Chef Jacques Torres, owner of Jacques Torres Chocolate in New York City, was inspired by chocolate at a young age.

Here he shares four simple recipes for the chocolate lover in us all: hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, mudslide cookies (one of Martha Stewart's favorites), and chocolate cornflakes.

Plus, read on to find out his secret for making sure chocolate retains its gloss after hardening.

EASY-TO-MAKE HOT CHOCOLATE

Ingredients:

2 cups of milk 1 cup of Jacques Torres' Hot Hot Chocolate mix or, for a spicier flavor, try his Wicked Hot Chocolate mix. Both are sold in 18 oz. tins. Whipped cream

More information is available at jacquestorres.com.

Instructions:

Mix together milk and chocolate mix, then put it on the stove and bring it to a boil. Alternatively, if you have a coffee machine with a steamer, you can just put it under the steamer. For added garnish, spoon a bit of whipped cream on top.

JACQUES TORRES' CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Recipe courtesy Jacques Torres.

Makes 26 5-inch cookies or 8 1/2 dozen 1 1/4 inch cookies.

Ingredients:

1 pound unsalted butter 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar 2 ¼ cups packed light-brown sugar 4 large eggs 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour 3 cups bread flour 1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons baking soda 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 2 pounds Jacques Torres House (60 percent cocoa) Chocolate or other best-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.

Using a 4 ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

MUDSLIDE COOKIES

Recipe courtesy Jacques Torres.

Ingredients:

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate 6 tablespoons butter 2 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar 5 eggs ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 tablespoons baking powder Pinch salt 1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions:

Melt the unsweetened and bittersweet chocolates together and set aside. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until combined. Add the melted chocolate. Stir in the walnuts and chopped chocolate pieces. Spoon small mounds of the dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. If you want to make giant cookies, use an ice cream scoop instead. Space the dough mounds evenly and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F convection oven for 16 minutes.

CHOCOLATE CORNFLAKES

Recipe and tempering instructions courtesy "Dessert Circus: Extraordinary Desserts You Can Make at Home" by Jacques Torres

Ingredients:

4 cups corn flakes 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, tempered

Instructions:

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