Pierre Herme’s Sable a L’olive Noir Recipe – Black Olive Cookies Recipe

I have often been told that I look young for my age and because of that, I have always celebrated it to almost the extent of flaunting it…on many occasions, telling people that I am almost half a century old – which is really, not too far from the truth. I guess everyone, especially those from the fairer sex would be happy to look younger. However, sometimes, working in a male-dominated industry, to look like you’ve just graduated from college can often work against you. However,over the years, I have also learnt that as much as appearance can set a formative impression in others, what is often more important is the first conservations you hold with the other party. It is when you speak that you can either affirm or overturn their prejudice. It is from that point onwards that credibility gets a chance to build and gradually be allowed to develop into something bigger, such as respect. I am, as you can see, still on the Pierre Herme trail. Referencing from his book, Le Livre des fours sees et melleux de Pierre Herme which gave me the Sable Viennois, I found many other interesting but simple recipes. It is amazing how once satisfaction has been delivered, trust follows – almost unconditionally.

This is another Sable recipe but is based on a technique that I have never worked before. Different from Sable Viennois which uses egg white or the more common ones that uses wet egg/egg yolk, this recipe works with cooked egg yolk. The egg yolk is cooked fully and mashed up into fine crumbs. A small quantity of this is then added to the creamed butter.
I understand that this is not an unique methology but for me this is new and I was suitably intrigued.

The texture of the cookie is totally unlike the shortbread which is more compact and crumbly in a melty sort of way. It is neither the same as the Sable Viennois, the crispness of which has a more airy quality to it. This cookie is crisp with an light crumbly snap. It was magical and my immediate impulse was to create a chocolate chip version next time.

The other reason that drew me to the cookie was the incorporation of Black Olives and EVO in the recipe. A more adult and sophisticated taste, this is perfect for those who prefer a savoury cookie to the usual sweet ones.

I can’t be more pleased to add this to my cookie repertoire. I will never look at cookies in the same way again.


Recipe :
5g Cooked Egg Yolk(Cooked & passed through a fine mesh)
65g Unsalted butter
2g Fleur de Sel
35g Powder sugar
25g EVO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
15g Corn Flour
80g Plain flour
25g Black Olives in Oil (finely minced)

Method :
1. Preheat oven to 170C (fan assisted mode)
2. Lightly beat an egg yolk and microwave at high for 30secs until cooked. (if you don’t have a MW oven, you can hard boil your egg and remove the egg yolk from the hard boiled egg)
3. While the egg yolk is still warm, press it through a fine mesh.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together, softened butter, Fleur de Sel until creamy.  Add powdered sugar and cream until homogenous.
5. Lower the mixing speed and gradually add in the EVO.
6. Add in sifted plain flour and corn flour.
7. Fold in minced black olives.
8. Roll out dough between 2 sheets of cling wrap to 0.6-0.8cm thick. (Alternatively, you can roll the dough into a log)
9. Refrigerate to firm.
10. Cut dough using cookie cutter or slice log with a knife.
11. Bake at 170C for 12 minutes until brown.