When the No-Knead Bread recipe came out there was a run on instant yeast and Dutch ovens as people raced to try this fabulous bread. Now these chocolate discs are in the baking spotlight, since the recipe promises they give much better results than plain old chocolate chips.
So, where do you find these things? Chocolate féves are the flat, wide disks of chocolate recommended by Jacques Torres for this new "perfect" chocolate chip cookie recipe. Why discs? What's wrong with plain old chocolate chips?
First of all, the quality of the chocolate counts. Usually these flat discs are only used by professional bakers; they're designed to be easy to melt for professional couverture and shaping. So the quality is proportionally higher than the waxy chocolate that consumers are often stuck with at the grocery store. Torres recommends at least a 60% cacao content.
Secondly, these discs, according to Torres, create strata of chocolate - thin dark streaks instead of gooey chunks. The thin discs melt into these layers that give more chocolate and cookie in each bite - instead of chunks of chocolate mixed with chunks of cookie.
Commenter louiedog confesses surprise after our post on making these cookies, saying that it's surprising that most bloggers haven't used the féves in their test runs - just chips. If you want to make these as written, here are a few good sources for the féves. They're not as common as chocolate chips, but they're still not difficult to find.
• Bittersweet Chocolate - Guittard Onyx Wafers, 1 pound, $7.95 at King Arthur Flour
• Guittard Semisweet Wafers, 1 pound, $9.95 at King Arthur Flour
• Valrhona Dark Chocolate Couverture "Les Feves" Grand Cru Manjari 64 % Cocoa, 2.2 pounds, $29.99 at World Wide Chocolate. The very best!
• Michel Cluizel Bittersweet Callets, 1 pound, $15 at Market Hall Foods. Comes in both 60% and 72% cacao varieties.