Black and Whites: Second Try

There we go. Now that looks more like something you’d see in a Manhattan pastry case, no? Forgive me but I couldn’t leave these alone until I’d gotten a little closer to the ideal. Actually this was my fourth try, as it took three attempts to get the cake where I wanted it. This last pass was all about finishing. What did I do differently? For starters I trimmed the cookies perfectly round with a round cutter after they cooled, like so (four inches worked perfectly for most of them).

Then I used the spoon-over method I described below for the fondant, thinning the stuff just a bit more more than I did the first time (I added a few instructions for that below). Lastly I used a darker cocoa. No, that’s a lie, I actually added a drop of black food coloring to the chocolate fondant to darken it. So sue me. Irrational fear of the Dutching process has made really dark cocoa tough to find these days.

Next time I’ll focus on not letting my fondant get over 100 degrees Fahrenheit so I can get a glossier coat!

16 thoughts on “Black and Whites: Second Try”

  1. You should look for the black cocoa that is currently available. It makes a very dark chocolate “whatever”. Nice job on the cookies…uh, cakes.

    1. Hi Linda!

      Yes I know King Arthur has it but there was no way to get it in time. I know that Hershey also makes a special dark cocoa but it wasn’t at the local Kroger, hence the cheat. But thank you for mentioning that, since a lot of other readers will want to know! Cheers,

      – Joe

  2. Fear of the Dutching process? Is that why I can’t find dutched cocoa anywhere? I’ve never heard any bad things about it…

    1. Hi Carrie!

      Yes it’s sad but true. In some quarters Dutching is considered “processing” of the food, and as we all know, processed food is an evil! I think it’s sad, really. What’s a little potassium carbonate between friends? Also harsh chocolates have been much in vogue here in the States for the last decade, so the aesthetic has been working against Dutching as well. I think that’s turning around a bit now, however. Harsh is fine from time to time, but what do you do when you want something, well…not harsh?

      Thanks for the note!

      – Joe

        1. Black cocoa? It’s around. Dutched cocoa is around as well, though you have to look harder for it than you once did. Droste cocoa is Dutched and it’s available widely in the US.

          – Joe

  3. Hey, looks like you got a typo in the title. You wrote “Back” instead of “Black”. Unless that’s some play on words I didn’t get. Love the site!

  4. Interesting. They look somewhat like the things called ‘Amerikaner’ back home. Apparently literature states them way back from before WWII in Germany, making the timing close to the one for NY ‘invention’ I assume.
    ‘Ours’ are a spongy cake, round like this, sphere-cut-off shaped on the bottom and have an icing sugar, chocolate or icing sugar and chocolate icing (black and white). I prefer just icing sugar *coughcough. The name – in German – has some suspected origins from ‘Amerika’, others unrelated entirely to the U.S.. Nothing sure, but definitely was around before the occupation after WWII.
    Now – have they been invented in the U.S. and brought to Germany, or invented in Germany and brought to the U.S. Wouldn’t be the first food item (talking salt potatoes) that came from another country and became so much part of the culture that people think it couldn’t possibly come from somewhere else *lol
    ‘Ours’ are definitely not cookies. They are soft and spongy :)
    They are ALSO called Sandrolls in parts apparently and the the theory of name origin ‘Amerikaner’ replacing the hard to pronounce ‘black and white cookies’ refers to a timing around the fifties. That’s way later than WWII.
    One theory states they were originally called ‘Ammoniakaner’ from the leavening agents used orignally.
    Whichever way, you gave me an idea to make them. Haven’t had them in a while living so far from Germany :)

    1. Hello again, e1iana!

      Yes I’ve heard of those also and honestly I’m not sure which came first. The fact that they’re called “Amerikaners” would seem to indicate that they were invented here, but there’s really very little documentation. They’ve been around in New York and New England for about 100 years…that’s all I know!


      – Joe

  5. Your cookies look great but traditionally a NYC black and white has the baked edge on it. They aren’t always perfectly round.

    1. Hey Donna! You can ice them any way you like, obviously. If you want to see the golden edge, then I say why not!

      Thanks for the comment! Cheers,

      – Joe

  6. I add melted chocolate chips to the chocolate frosting too. It doesn’t go on perfectly smooth though.

    1. Hey Donna!

      I tried that as well and had the same problem. Since I was trying to imitate a B&W that Mrs. Pastry and I used to get in Midtown I went for the smooth finish. Thanks!

      – Joe

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