Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

November 6, 2011

Easiest Chocolate Cake

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My internal dialogue was definitely discouraging, while making this cake. No egg, who bakes a cake without eggs – even brownies have eggs, this was certain to be a disaster. And now add lemon juice or vinegar! What was this going to taste like? And really!? I’m going to prepare this cake right in the baking pan! No mixing bowl? No creaming the butter, but melt it? Huh? Where am I!? What is going on? After all of that, the batter was thinner than pancake batter! We were surely headed for thin deflated cupcakes. Certainly, you are asking me why would I even consider this recipe after reading it? Well it comes from the Joy of Baking website, a place I trust and the photo was very enticing. New and different is what I like, new challenges!

Joy of Baking – Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder(not Dutch-processed), sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon lemon juice(or vinegar)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.

In an ungreased 8 inch square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

**NOTE: I made these into cupcakes rather than a cake. Fill the baking cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes – or until a toothpick comes out clean.**

In the end, this is a very good simple recipe. It’s a heavier, moist cake. Not a light cake. The best description was somewhere between a brownie and cake. I’m more amazed by how well this cake came out and that it doesn’t have any eggs! (can’t get over that!).

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~Enjoy~

Amanda

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January 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies (w/Browned Butter)

While watching the Famous Amos cookie story on Food Network (awhile back) it became apparent to me that you can use brown sugar in place of granulated sugar in cookies. There may have been more interesting useful tips but since it’s been months, and I didn’t write anything down, all I remember was the use of brown sugar. Since then I have been trying recipes substituting brown sugar for some or all of the granulated sugar. Brown sugar makes a softer cookie and adds a nutty, caramel flavor and that is what we all want out of a cookie – soft chewy and flavorful. Next time I will try this recipe with all brown sugar (just to see what happens). And, really, who doesn’t like brown sugar! My daughter calls it “chocolate sugar” and I thought that was just about right – I love brown sugar just about as much as I love chocolate! Any recipe with brown sugar in the title sells it to me. Speaking of, a friend of mine gave me her extra copy of The Breakfast Book, by Marion Cunningham and this is such a great book – so much inspiration for breakfast! Anyway, there is a Chewy Brown Sugar Muffins recipe in that book – they are on the “to make” list. I drool just thinking of “chewy brown sugar.” 

Also in this recipe, I used what is called Fiori di Sicilia in place of vanilla and the orange zest. Fiori di sicilia is a mixture of citrus and vanilla.  You can get fiori di sicilia from King Arthur flour or google it. Of course if you want classic chocolate chip cookies use only vanilla and the recipe won’t be affect except for flavor.

(adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts book, classic chocolate chip cookie recipe)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp grated orange zest (I used ½ teaspoon of fiori di sicilia)
2 large eggs
2 cups of milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375° F.

1. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

2. Beat butter, sugars and extract in large bowl until creamy.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

5. I use my small ice cream scoop and scoop dough onto an ungreased baking sheet.

6. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Cool on wire racks.

Brown Butter:

Brown butter seems to be a new trend for desserts; my recent Bon Appetit magazine has a browned butter brownie recipe.  I have been seeing brown butter in lots of recipes lately. Brown butter smells so good and tastes just as good. You know “color adds flavor” and that is definitely true with brown butter. I usually brown my butter and then fry my eggs in it – Mmmm. You can use it in sweet and savory dishes – pasta, eggs, meat, fish, cookies, brownies, cakes – and more!

Technique: Brown the butter until the butter is foamy and starts to brown. You will see little brown bits in the butter and it will smell so heavenly!  Cool in the freezer or fridge until the butter until it is the consistency of softened butter so you can cream it with the sugar.  (see Chow’s how to brown butter)

(sorry for the lack of photos – I didn’t actually intend on posting this recipe when I made it – don’t ask me why)

December 9, 2010

Pancakes

 

Cinnamon Chocolate w/Powdered Sugar

My 4 year old daughter loves pancakes on Saturday mornings. It’s a ritual in our house. She likes to help mix the ingredients and then patiently waits while the first hot pancakes come off the griddle so she can add butter and syrup all by herself. She’s Ms. Independent these days, you know. Since we make pancakes so often I have tried many different recipes. So many pancakes come out super cakey and I like mine a little thinner. When I was younger and lived with my friend Kim she would make the best pancakes. She and her kids would butter up the pancakes sprinkle some powdered sugar over them then roll them up and eat them. That has been my favorite way to eat pancakes ever since. So the cakier the pancake, the more difficult it is to roll it up! So for this recipe I have noted some adjustments to make those cakey thick pancakes, if you like. This recipe is an adaptation of a Food Network kitchen recipe that was in a pull out booklet in a Food Network magazine.

My Basic Pancake Recipe

1 1/2 c. flour

1T. sugar (my regular recipe has 3T but we are adding so much sugar already)

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

2 tsp. vanilla

3T. melted butter

Mix first 4 ingredients. Then mix milk, eggs, and vanilla together. Then mix the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix about 10 strokes. Then add butter and mix briefly just to combine. (over mixing the pancake batter will result in flat tough pancakes).

Cinnamon Chocolate Batter

1.            Heat a griddle or large pan over medium high heat.

2.                  Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside

3.                  In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla

4.                  Stir the milk mixture and melted butter into the flour mixture. Do not over mix you will end up with flat tough pancakes there will be lumps resist the urge to get    them out.    

5.                  Using a ladle pour pancake batter onto the griddle and allow to cook until the pancake is bubbly and drying around the edges. Flip and cook another minute or two.

6.                  Serve with butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar, whipped cream, preserves, jam, fresh fruit, or any of your favorite toppings.

 Creativity!

Now to show off your own creative side and add combinations you like such as raspberry and chocolate, fresh fruit chunks, mashed banana and blueberries or any of my tested recipes below. Like cupcakes, pancakes are fairly easy to alter with your favorite flavors. Think oatmeal too! (that is another flexible breakfast item you can add flavor to with pretty healthy ingredients.

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes: Add ¼ cup of pumpkin puree, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg. Decrease the milk to 1 1/4 cup. 

 Cinnamon Chocolate Pancakes: add 3T of your favorite unsweetened coco powder and a 1tsp of cinnamon to the flour. (****these are my favorite****)

 Maple, Cinnamon and Pecan: 3T real maple syrup to the wet mixture and 1 tsp cinnamon to the flour, toss in some finely chopped pecans.

Lemon – Add lemon extract instead of vanilla and a 1tsp of lemon zest (the peel finely grated)