The Roaming Foodie

Posts Tagged ‘baking

This is not in the interest of those following New Year’s resolutions to diet and such, and I myself am trying to eat better as well, but these are just too good and too simple to NOT write about.  I came about this recipe after watching Nigella Lawson on Cooking Channel while I was at home for the holidays.  While I can’t eat sweets (or really eat at all) like I used to, I seem to always be able to find room for these little ramekins of heaven. I used to love making molten chocolate cakes, but they always seemed to take forever, and getting them out of the ramekins always turned into a big blob of melted chocolate, not the neat little cake that stands on a plate until someone pierces it with a spoon and turns it into a volcano of melted gooey chocolate.  That was what I loved about those recipes…it took this unassuming little cake and made eating it into something more. This recipe takes all that I didn’t like about molten chocolate cakes and throws it out the window. There’s no unmolding. No flouring after buttering the ramekin (something that I detest, despite how much I love baking). Just enjoyment of the lush molten chocolate, perfect for indulging.

Chocolate Hot Pots
Makes 4

by the way, Nigella calls them “chocohotopots”. Her recipe is here, but I’ve changed it just a bit:
http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/chocohotopots-recipe/index.html

1 stick of butter, plus enough (about a tablespoon) for greasing
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Butter the ramekins with the tablespoon of butter.

Melt the chocolate and butter together, either in a bowl that’s set on top of a small pan of simmering water (aka a double boiler) or in the microwave, until it is completely melted and silky. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Beat in 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir in the melted chocolate. Pour into the four ramekins. Bake immediately, or you can also put any that you don’t want to bake immediately in the fridge, and bake them when you please.

Bake for 20 minutes. They’ll be cracked and done looking on top.

These are very hot when they come out of the oven. Place the ramekin on a plate, and serve with a spoon. Warn everyone that they’ll be hot, though.

So, here’s a story of how boyfriends can influence your cooking.

The other day while over at Andrew’s, I was in a terrible mood for no reason, and decided to bake in order to lift my spirits.

I had made Andrew blondies before, and he really liked them. I also had chocolate chips left over from brownie making that I wanted to use, so I settled on making chocolate chip blondies.

Andrew was helping me make them to keep me company, and as he was looking at all the things the recipe suggests you can add into blondies, and said, “You can put bourbon in these???”

Sigh. Andrew really enjoys whiskey. Kentucky whiskey (or bourbon, or whatever you call it. There’s a million types of whiskey, and I’m quite positive I wouldn’t like any of them).

The thought of bourbon makes me squirm (and yes, I know it tastes really good baked INTO things, just not by itself, and frankly, the raw smell of it gets to me), but he seemed so excited by the prospect of putting bourbon into this that I agreed.

And that is how my boyfriend convinced me turn these into bourbon chocolate chip blondies.

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Blondies

adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s website: http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/blondies-for-a-blondie/

By the way, I baked these in an 8×8 pan, and they turned out rather thin (though rich, so it worked out well), but if you want thicker blondies, doubling the recipe may work.

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
1/2 to 1 cup of chocolate chips

  1. Butter an 8×8 pan
  2. Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Add in the bourbon and the chocolate chips, and incorporate.
  4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.  Cool on rack before cutting them.

So, I have a confession to make.

I’ve never made brownies from scratch before.

I always used the box kind, because, well, they’re easy and always come out fudgy and gooey. Always.

This all changed yesterday. I was in the mood to bake, perhaps because the last two weeks have been stressful, but whatever it was, I needed to cream some butter and sugar and sift some flour and just make something sweet and delicious. There was no way that I could have a good day unless I baked.

I was thinking about making my grandmother’s coconut cake, until I came across Cakespy’s blog (which you can find here:  http://www.cakespy.com/ )

As soon as I saw the post on Fat Witch Brownies, I knew that brownies would be what I made. So Andrew (who was completely up for brownies as long as they were JUST brownies, no frosting or fillings or extra stuff) and I went to pick up supplies for brownie making. As soon as we got home, I started my baking therapy.

Maybe I’m weird, but there’s nothing quite as soothing as standing over a stove, slowly melting bittersweet chocolate and butter until it becomes a beautiful, smooth, and glistening liquid.  Creaming eggs and sugar by hand makes me feel like even if I’m not in control over anything else in my life, I can control these brownies. And adding the chocolate mixture and the sifted flour and stirring until everything just comes together, well, I feel like I accomplished something, even if I failed my test or whatever, at least I can make a batch of brownies.  Baking/cooking is the best form of therapy for me, and I am perfectly fine with that.

Fat Witch Brownies (from the Fat Witch Bakery in NYC)

(I found the recipe here:  http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2010/9/24/lifes-a-witch-fat-witch-brownies-cookbook-and-a-recipe.html but it’s from Fat Witch Bakery’s cookbook:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1605295744?ie=UTF8&tag=cakespycom-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1605295744)

By the way, if anyone can tell me how to make a link that is just a word, that’d be great. I tried it, but it didn’t work, which is why there are so many links in my articles.

Ingredients

  • 14 Tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ubleached flour
  • pinch of salt

Procedure

  1. Grease a 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool while you prepare the next step.
  3. Cream the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Measure the flour and salt and then sift together directly into the chocolate mixture. Mix the batter gently until well combined and no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
  5. If you wanna, stir in nuts or any extras at this point.
  6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared baking pan and bake 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with crumbs but not batter.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on rack for 1 hour. Cut just before serving. Makes 12-16 brownies (or 9, if you cut them like I do)