jacques torres vs david lebovitz

How can something so simple, so old-fashioned, like a chocolate chip cookie, complicate the culinary world? As most of us know, the cookie was accidentally developed by our dear Ruth Wakefield, the founder of Toll House, in the year 1930. And ever since then, every soul we know has been trying to conquer one recipe or another. The ‘bug’ has never been so strong. I swear, it’s even stronger than SARS.

Why, thank you, Ruth, for bringing the chocolate chip cookie into our lives,

…and for creating all the “no way, my recipe rules” kind of dramas. Tsk, tsk, Ruth Wakefield.

I’ve finally ventured into the Jacques Torres infamous or famous (or whatever) chocolate chip cookie. What’s so unique about this recipe is that it uses bread and cake flour, instead of your usual all-purpose. Unique or a plain waste of money, however you want it to be, the texture, in my humblest opinion, is tantamount to what all-purpose flour would give.

I followed the recipe to a tee. Despite using quality chocolate chunks, the flavor was disappointing. It just fell short of well, flavor. It just wasn’t enough. For me, that is. It was good, not great. Even “quite good” isn’t good enough.

I remember the recipe I made from David Lebovitz’s Ready For Dessert. You either remember the best and the worst of things. David’s recipe is by far, the best I’ve tried. It’s so perfect that really, there’s nothing negative to offer. Even without an oven, I would still make it, for cookie dough has never been so delicious to me.

Jacques’ isn’t the worst, of course. It’s definitely better than your regular Subway cookie, or Mrs Field’s. But once you’ve tasted something better (aka David’s), Jacques’ becomes quickly forgotten. It’s definitely missing something. Step aside, Torres, Lebovitz’s got yours beaten. Then again, the best is yet to be. Till someone else brings the level to higher ground, I’d be just satisfied with my go-to recipe.

Finally, an end to all cookie controversies. Thanks again, Ruth…or David? :)

The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie

by Jacques Torres

[print the recipe]

Don’t let me stop you from making it. This recipe isn’t bad. Just that, I don’t see why we have to use bread and cake flour when there is all-purpose. I tried this out of curiosity. I’m sure you’d want to feed your hunger for inquisitiveness….as well as for a chocolate chip cookie. :)

  • 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or feves, at least 60 percent cacao content
  • Sea salt.
  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees (170 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  4. 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. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.
  5. Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.
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8 thoughts on “jacques torres vs david lebovitz

  1. Interesting results! I’ve made the Torres recipe thrice–working on my fourth batch right now–,and they’ve been marvelous 2 out of 3 times (I made one batch with King Arthur Bread flour rather than my usual generic, supermarket-bin bread flour, and I guess the King Arthur brand has too much gluten in it, because the cookies were puffy and airy, rather than moist and dense).

  2. Oh yay !! I’m so glad you did the comparison of the two–you really did settle the lebovitz vs. torres debate. :D Good to know the next time I bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies I’m going to reference Lebovitz’s. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the honest review, now I can take these off my to-do list and substitute David’s. I can tell just by looking that these wouldn’t be my favorite…I like lots of lumps and bumps in my chocolate chip cookies.
    I just found your blog and love it!

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