How to: Combining recipes to make something new

There exists a  principle of a whole being greater than the sum of all its parts; this principle holds particularly true in pastry. You could take a tired old recipe and by combining it with another seemingly simple recipe, create something magical and new.

Squares, or bars as they are often called,  are the perfect way to combine a few of your favourite tried-and-true recipes into a revamped exciting signature delight.

A client of mine recently asked me to make her something easy to serve, that would require no cutting, and that was over the top chocolatee. Not overly-enthusiastic about verrines      (dessert cups) , I asked how she felt about squares. My client was very into the idea so I began researching recipes to elaborate on.

Disappointed in my findings, I started thinking about some of my best chocolate offerings. One of my all-time favourites is my browie torte; not completely flourless, this cake is rich is chocolate flavor, and  dense and chewy in texture- I knew that I somehow had to incorporate this.

Squares usually contsist of a cookie base, or firmer base with one or more layers of chewier tops. I didn’t want a standard cookie base however, because I thought it would be too stark a contrast in texture (and I am a stickler for textural contrast)- something very chewy against something crisp just didn’t gel for me, nor did the idea of a crumb crust because I thought it would be too crumbly. I wanted something with a little give. Then I remembered my flourless chocolate cookies from my Passover Menu- these uber-chocolate treats are made with confectioners sugar, and are chewy themselves, though not in the same way as the brownie. They proved to be the perfect compliment to the brownie top.

Chocolate walnut cookie -Brownie top squares Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

Chocolate walnut cookie -Brownie top squares Photo by Jennifer Maliniak

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