Can’t Get No Satisfaction?! Try These -Black Cocoa Brownies

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?! Try These -Black Cocoa Brownies

Recreating The Bake Feed Brownies
Black Cocoa Brownies

 

The Rolling Stones sing about it, companies make billions of dollars off it, and advertisers convince us daily of it.  What is it?  Satisfaction!

Without even realizing it we are constantly being brainwashed to be dissatisfied with ourselves.  Business is booming because we are convinced we cannot possibly reach our potential without more stuff.

The newest running shoe will make us jump higher and despite the fact we have no athletic ability we can become a super star.  The big brush mascara will make our eyes so incredible we will mesmerize everyone we meet and be hired for some incredible job somewhere.  Don’t have the latest colour palate on your walls, in your shoe selection or your clothes, why how lame are you?  Not having the right colour jacket may impact your ability to secure an apartment rental.  Everyday someone, who will make money and benefit from making us feel less than perfect, will convince us we are not enough.  Not enough for ourselves and not enough for others and if we happen to be content and  satisfied we must not be enlightened enough to know we are lacking.  Wow, how sad, I probably don’t even realize how bad off I must be because I’ve been feeling pretty happy lately.  Does this mean I’m really lacking in more areas of my life than the average Joe.  OMG, maybe I should have bought those plaid pants.  Plaid is in this year, right?  If I have new pants I’ll be more interesting, right?

My therapy for problems of the world (first world) such as this, why chocolate or caramel or peanutbutter or butter or, any combination resulting in a dessert!  Whip yourself up some sweet satisfaction in the form of Black Cocoa Brownies and when enjoying one or three make a mental list of all the things you’re content with.  Number 1 should be the fact you made such amazing brownies.

Improving ourselves is never a negative but not enjoying or embracing what we are in the quest for the unattainable seems sad and a waste of precious time.  Time that, perhaps, might be spent in the kitchen baking up today’s recipe from the July/August 2018 Bake from Scratch magazine.

Ingredients
Black Cocoa Brownies – Ingredients
Dark Chocolate
Folding in Dark Chocolate

 

Black Cocoa Brownies
Black Cocoa Brownies with a little Hallowe’en Sprinkle (Photo Credit @wavesdigitalca.com)

 

Black Cocoa Brownies

(Black Cocoa is Ultra-Dutch process black cocoa which means the cocoa beans have been rinsed in an alkaline solution, eliminating its natural acidity, darkening the colour and making the flavour more concentrated.  Black cocoa has been processed to the most extreme.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 13×9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.  Have an overhang on the sides to easily lift brownies out of pan.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups dark chocolate morsels, divided

1 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup black cocoa powder

2 tsp kosher salt

5 eggs, large

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method:

In top of a double boiler, melt 1 1/3 cups chocolate with the butter until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Stir occasionally while melting.  Turn off heat and whisk in sugars.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs.  Add half of beaten egg to cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Whisk in remaining egg and vanilla.

Fold in flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain.  Fold in remaining chocolate pieces.

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre has only a few crumbs.  Cool competely in pan before removing to cut.

Store well wrapped on counter.  These freeze well.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin Biscotti

 

Pumpkin Biscotti
Pumpkin Biscotti

Pumpkin seems to be the flavour of Fall here in Canada.  The combination of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove combine beautifully to flavour pies, cupcakes and, of course, the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte.

If you love PSL’s and biscotti then you will love this crisp, Fall flavoured treat which can be eaten as is or dipped in your PSL.   And if you don’t bake maybe a little subtle hinting to your friends who do will result in you being their taste tester!

A couple of years ago I tested out several pumpkin biscotti recipes and after a little trial and error this has become my go-to recipe.  This biscotti has pumpkin pie spice for the flavour and NO pumpkin puree.  I found the spice gives the biscotti the flavour required but leaving out puree allows the cookie to crisp up nicely.  I save the pumpkin puree for things like muffins and cakes (check out other pumpkin recipes on my blog).

Like all biscotti these will last in an airtight container for a couple of weeks and freeze well.  Keep these in mind for holiday and Christmas gifts.  They travel well and look pretty in festive cello bags.

No pumpkin pie spice in your cupboard?  Just combine 4 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground cloves and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.  Make sure your spices are fresh for the best flavour.

Pumpkin Biscotti

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a large cookie sheet or 2 small cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.

In a large bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs one at a time beating after each until incorporated and beat in vanilla.

Stir in flour in 3 additions on low or by hand until mixed in.  Add in nuts and mix well.  You may find using your hands to combine the nuts into the batter works well.

Divide batter into 2 equal portions and shape each into a 2-inch by 3/4-inch log.  Place on baking sheets.  If using one sheet space about 3-inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until golden brown around edges (top will still look fairly light in colour).  Remove from oven and let cool 15-20 minutes until cool and easy to handle.

TURN OVEN DOWN TO 275F WHILE BISCOTTI COOLS.

perfect-pumpkin-biscotti-bakingUse a serrated or bread knife and cut into 1/2-inch slices.  Lay slices on cookie sheets and bake for approximately 8 minutes and then turn and lay on other side and bake for another 8 minutes until firm and golden brown.  Remove and cool completely.

For an extra hit of sweet, melt a little white chocolate (over low heat, of course, so you don’t burn it!) and drizzle over cooled biscotti.

Whether you dip or not is up to you but I think you’ll have to agree store bought biscotti cannot compare with these!

 

 

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Once per year we have a statutory holiday to give thanks, spend time with family and/or friends and expand our waistlines.  I do hope everyone reading this has an opportunity to hug or be hugged by someone they care about whether it’s a friend, co-worker, family member or a loved pet.

For me, baking is my hug to everyone.  Hopefully you will pass on a hug by giving today’s recipe a try and sharing it!

Use real lemons not bottled lemon juice for this recipe for the freshest flavours.  Room temperature lemons will provide more juice than those straight from the fridge.  When zesting make sure to only grate the yellow not the bitter white (the pith) underneath.  If you have lemons you won’t use up quickly, zest them and put the zest in a ziploc bag in the freezer and squeeze out the juice for future use.

Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

 Glazed Lemon Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes 2 9×5-inch loaf pans.  Grease and flour loaf pans and set aside.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup buttermilk

Zest of 2 lemons

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups sugar

5 eggs

Lemon Glaze:

Mix approximately 1/3 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice with 1 cup of icing sugar until pourable consistency.  Add a bit more lemon juice or icing sugar until desired consistency reached. Drizzle over cooled loafs.

Method:

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk, lemon zest and lemon juice.

In medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated after each.

Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture, using 3 flour additions and 2 buttermilk additions.  Don’t overmix just beat on low until smooth and combined.

 

Divide batter evenly between pans and smooth tops.  Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted centre comes out clean.  Cool cakes about 15 minutes and then remove from pans to cool completely on a rack.

If desired, when cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.

White Chocolate Orange Scones

White Chocolate Orange Scones

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White Chocolate Orange Scones

White Chocolate Orange Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into small pieces

4 ounces white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 2nd baking sheet under lined sheet.  (This helps to prevent the bottom from over baking.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, orange juice, vanilla and egg.

Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the cold butter in.  Pieces should be the size of peas OR use a box grater and grate the butter into the flour mixture and toss lightly until butter pieces are coated with the flour mixture.

Add the wet ingredients and fold in until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead (adding flour as necessary) until it comes together.  Pat dough into a square and then roll it out to a 12-inch square.  Now fold it together in thirds (it will resemble a letter) and then fold into thirds again, (now it will look like a nice little square pacakge) adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking.  Put on alightly floured plate and freeze for about 10 minutes.

Put dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to a large circle about 1/2 thick and score into 8 portions.

If desired, brush to tops with a little cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 18-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom.

Best eaten day of baking but wrap well and microwave for 5-10 seconds on the second day IF there are any leftovers.

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that doesn’t do much for me.  Truth be told, no vegetable really does that much for me but I know I need to consume them.  Other than potatoes that have been deepfried and I’m not sure I should count that?!  Zucchini does redeem itself fantastically when grated into a loaf or muffin and this recipe from ‘Bake Class’, a terrific baking book by Anneka Manning, is wonderfully simple, quick, moist and speckled with zucchini.

pexels-photo-128420.jpeg

I made it the first time using Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour and it turned out great.  It didn’t rise as high as the ones made with all-purpose flour/whole wheat flour but the delicious taste and moistness was still there.  The gluten-free version was also a little denser but it was still all eaten within 48 hours!

A note to those of you purchasing the Red Mill Gluten Free Flour…I purchased the 1:1 bag which already has the addition of zanthem gum to it.  It is more expensive than their other gluten free flour, by about $3 where I purchased it, but you just measure and substitue in your recipes without having to fuss with additional ingredients.  A winner for this recipe anyway!

I skipped the pistachio’s in my bread as I didn’t have any on hand but feel free to add in some pecans or walnuts or even a few butterscotch chips.  Scumptious, moist and packed with flecks of zucchini the only improvement I made was slathering my slices with some sweet butter.  Mmmm Mmmm, fabulous with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.

Oh, a few more things…this recipe has no salt so ‘no’, I didn’t forget it; I used regular brown sugar instead of raw sugar and once I was short about 1/2 cup of zucchini so I added in some ripe banana and it was great.  Give this recipe a try and feel free to message me!

Zucchini Bread awaiting Butter
Where’s the Butter?

Happy Baking.

Zucchini & Pistachio Loaf

Preheat oven to 325F.  Parchment line a 5 x 9 1/2 with parchment paper to make sling for easy removal.

Ingredients:

2 eggs

1 cup raw sugar

2/3 cup sunflower or light olive oil

Grated zest of 1 orange

2 1/4 cups coarsely grated zucchini

1/2 cup (approx.) unsalted shelled pistachios

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, oil and zest.  Stir in zucchini and pistachios.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon.  Add to the the zucchini mixture and stir with a spatula or large spoon just until combined.

Spoon into the prepared loaf pan and smooth top evenly,

Bake for approximately 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Let cool about 5 minues and remove from pan to cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chewy Brownies

Chewy Brownies

Brownies are the quintessential sweet treat.  Chocolatey, sweet, chewy, portable and easy to make.

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Chewy Brownie – sweetenuf.ca

 

A chewy brownie with a fudgey consistency is my go to.  Others prefer a cakey brownie but I find they lack a depth of flavour I crave.  Today’s recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a sure fire winner with 3 types of chocolate plus some espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavour even further.

With the freezing rain still falling on this Spring Sunday a batch of these baking would surely lift your mood and make you forget about the howling winds and the fact you still need your long johns.  Start your ovens people and beat back your sweet treat craving with a pan of these.

cropped-chopped-chocolate.jpg
Chocolate!  Sweetenuf.ca

 

Chewy Brownies (ATK)

Makes approx. 24.  Grease and parchment or foil line (make sure to grease the foil) 13 x 9-inch baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1/2cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

Method:

Whisk hot water, cocoa and espresso powder together in a large bowl until smooth.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in oil and melted butter.  Add in eggs and yolks and vanilla and continue whisking until mixture is smooth and uniform looking.  Whisk in sugar until fully mixed.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt and add into chocolate mixture combining with a rubber spatula until combined.  Fold in the bittersweet pieces.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatual to reach the corners and smooth top.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Remember to rotate pan half way through baking time!

Let cool and remove Brownies from pan.  Let cool further until firm and cut into squares.  Wrap leftovers well.

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Pumpkin Scones with Maple Frosting


Pumpkin Scone
Pumpkin Scones with Maple Glaze – sweetenuf.ca

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I love scones and today’s scones are from Sarah Kieffer’s ‘The Vanilla Bean Baking Book‘.  Perfect for breakfast, brunch, afternoon coffee or as a little pick me up anytime I think a well made scone cannot be beat (well, maybe by a perfectly made vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles…)

Pumpkin scones with maple glaze are my new fav and even though this recipe requires a little more labour in the form of folding and rolling and a quick freeze of the dough for 10 minutes before rolling and folding and baking they are worth the extra effort.  The next day they were still light, tender and not the tiniest bit dried out.  With or without the maple glaze they are a hit.

Remember to purchase pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie filling and make sure the can contains 100% pumpkin not a mix of pumpkin and squash!  I always have a can of pumpkin in my cupboard and any leftover can be frozen, fed to your cat or dog (it’s healthy and they love it) or used to whip up a batch of pumpkin muffins (look under muffins on my blog for a recipe!)

Pumpkin Scones

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree

1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops before baking

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsalted butter, COLD and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Method:

Preheat oven to 400F.  Stack 2 cookie sheets and line top one with parchment.

(Having 2 sheets stacks help prevent the bottoms from overbaking before the scone is completely baked.  Works well for cookies too!)

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, heavy cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

Add the cold butter pieces into the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into the flour until you have nicely flour coated pea size pieces.  Add the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times until it comes together, adding a little flour at a time as necessary, if dough is too sticky.  Pat the dough gently into a small square and roll it into a 12-inch square.  Fold the dough into thirds similar to a business letter.  Fold the dough into thirds again, forming a square.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured plate or pan and FREEZE for about 10 minutes.

Return dough to lightly floured surface and roll into a 12-inch square and fold it business letter style again! Place the dough seam side down and roll into a 12 x 4-inch rectangle.

With a sharp knife or bench scrapper cut the dough into 4 equal rectangles and then each of those rectangles in half to form triangles.  Place scones on prepared sheet 2-inches apart and brush the tops lightly with a bit of heavy cream.

Bake 18-25 minutes checking half way through baking time and rotating pans, until bottoms and tops are golden brown.  Cool slightly and top with some maple glaze.

Maple Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, 1 cup icing sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla, until smooth.  Drizzle on warm scones.  Enjoy!  Wrap any leftovers well and microwave for a few seconds if desired.