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.

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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Rainbow Sprinkle Bread

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread
Rainbow Sprinkle Bread w Birthday Cake Crumb Topping

Rainbow Sprinkle anything shouts ‘Spring’ to me, and with April upon us now is the perfect time to share this fun recipe from the Bake Feed magazine.  Seems the creator of this Rainbow Sprinkle Bread loves cake about much as I do.

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Sweetapolita Sprinkles for my Sprinkle Bread…sweetenuf.com

Although this recipe is baked in a loaf pan it is cake…deliciously sweet, dense and nicely vanilla flavoured cake, with sprinkles in it and on top of it!  Kevin Masse’s recipe brings back memories of all the amazing flavours we enjoyed as kids in vanilla birthday cakes so how can there be anything NOT to like about this bread or cake or loaf…whatever you call it, it is sweet and fun and will make you feel like Spring is around the corner with every bite!

Give this a try and share your photos on Instagram.  I’d love to see how your version looks!  I’m sweet_enuf and hope you drop by.

 

Note: I used pure vanilla extract not clear vanilla extract.

Rainbow Sprinkle Bread with Birthday Cake Crumb Topping

Preheat oven to 325F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray and line with parchment for easy removal from pan.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon clear vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles

Birthday Cake Crumb Topping (recipe below)

Method:

Beat butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scrapping sides and bottom of bowl.  Beat in eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each, and scrapping down bowl.  Beat in vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together, flour and salt.  Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat only until combined.  Stir in sprinkles.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and top with about half to a third of the Birthday Cake Crumb Topping (leftovers can be stored in the fridge and used on ice cream).

Bake for approximately 70 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Let cool for about 10 minutes and remove from pan and cool completely.

Birthday Cake Crumb Topping

Whisk together in a small bowl 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp kosher salt.

Using your fingers, work in 2 tablespoons cold butter, until mixture has a sandy texture.

Add 1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and work in with your fingers until small pebble-sized shapes forms.

This can be stored for approximately 3 days in the fridge.

 

Fudgey Brownies


Fudgey Brownies
Fudgey Brownies

Today’s fudgey dense and sweet Brownie recipe is super simple.  So easy you may want to make a batch for dessert tonight to serve with a scoop of ice cream or a little whipped cream.  If you can, pick up some Ontario strawberries. Slice on top of the ice cream or whipped cream and you have an upscale dessert sure to please!

I used 3 types of chocolate in these sweet enuf treats.  Add-in 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans if you desire.

Fudgey Brownies

Preheat oven to 350F and grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan.

Ingredients:

3 ounces dark or bitter sweet chocolate

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 ounces milk chocolate

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

Method:

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter, and microwave on medium power until chocolate is almost melted.  Stir until melted and smooth.

Whisk in the sugar and then whisk in the eggs one at a time until combined. Gently whisk in the vanilla.

Using a wooden spoon mix in the flour and salt.

Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Edges will be firm and centre will be almost set.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake


Key IngredientsThis drab and dreary weather calls out for something sweet and fun to help fight the urge to stay in bed and hibernate.  Who wouldn’t want to get out of bed for a piece of delicious coffee cake combining not only peanut butter and Nutella but having the added crunch of praline nuts and a peanut butter crumble topping!

Whether you stay up to binge watch your favourite shows on Netflix while enjoying this moist and flavourful coffee cake or hop right back into bed to relax against your propped up pillows, I think you’ll agree this is a delicious addition to your morning.  Or afternoon or before dinner pick-me-up or…

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This recipe is from the Bake from Scratch ‘One Layer Cakes 2017’ issue and I made a couple of slight modifications.  Mostly because I didn’t follow my own advice to do the one thing you should always do when trying a new recipe…read it through thoroughly and pay attention!

I must say my slight modifications, which were layering the warmed Nutella in the middle and on top of the cake batter and using Praline Mixed Nuts instead of roasted salted peanuts did not detract in any way.  I also subbed in cream for the whole milk as I had some in my fridge.  Now you have options! Follow the original directions or switch it up like I did and enjoy.

Peanut Butter-Nutella Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9-round or 9-inch square cake pan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup whole milk

3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (Nutella), warmed

Peanut Butter Crumble – in a small bowl combine 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  Using your fingers or a wooden spoon mix in 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter.  Mix in 1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts.

Method:

Prepare peanut butter crumble and set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugar, until light and creamy.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with the milk, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients, until combined.

Adding top layer of PB Cake
PB Cake batter atop warmed Nutella

Pour half of batter into prepared pan.  Top with chocolate-hazelnut spread, making sure to spread to edges.  Top with remaining cake batter, smoothing to edges.  (A small offset spatula works great for this.)

Sprinkle Peanut Butter Crumble evenly over top of batter.

PB & Nutella cake topped with Praline Nuts and Streusel
PB Crumble and Praline Nut topping bf baking

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Note: If edges begin to brown quickly loosely cover cake with foil until completely baked to avoid excess browning.

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PB-Nutella Coffee Cake with PB Crumble & Praline Mixed Nuts sweetenufblog.com
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Mating in the Wild & Pecan Pie Bars

Mating in the Wild & Pecan Pie Bars

Apparently size does matter.  Not only does showing whose is bigger set the ground work, you are then able to start a battle with a few strong shoves to your advisary and with a well placed low blow get him out of the picture. That accomplished you can now turn your attention to the lovely female you have had our eye on since sensing her hormone levels were reaching their peak and you, being the romantic you are, will wait by quietly until she turns her attentions to you!

A play-by-play from a downtown bar?!  A scenario from a dating text-book?! My somewhat crazed imagination?!

None of the above.  Interestingly enough, while baking up today’s recipe, I had on the National Geographic channel and they were discussing the mating habits of wild life in Alaska.  Male Sheep with the biggest horns use them to fight off other males who are lacking in this department often butting their horns in their opponents vulnerable spots and the winner also lets loose a battle cry to capture the attention of his lady.

While watching it I started thinking about recent conversations with several single women friends and their not-so-impressive dating experiences so far in 2016.

Seems today’s man could maybe take cue from the bears, long-horned sheep and a few other animals in Alaska and other parts of the world.

In a nutshell, as wild and untamed as these creatures may be, they make a show of their assets and are willing to go the extra mile and even fight for their lady.  Now I know I don’t want anyone ramming their head into the gut of another potential suitor just to get my or my friends undivided attention but a sincere compliment to the fairer sex on how attractive their eyes or how nice their smile or asking something about their life and really wanting to know the answer would go a long way in securing our attention and interest.

Seems in the light of working so hard to be equal and self-sufficient we forget it is OK to have someone show us we are special and we are worth a little effort.  Sure we can bear children and look after said children, and take the garbage to the curb, grocery shop, make the meals, clean the house, pay bills and pay for our own stuff BUT why do we think we are not worth someone making a little effort for us.  WE ARE MORE THAN WORTH IT!

Maybe it’s not just the guys who need to look to the wild.  I’m going to follow the advice of the female bear…(well, metaphorically or something like that…I’m not really going to eat grass in a field and wait for a hairy guy, but I think you’ll get my drift).   She contentedly eats her way through the field while the males fight for her (just her, not the other 12 they have contacted on Match or POF and might, just might, follow-up with).  Then the winner lays down in the grass nearby and waits the several weeks it takes before she is ready for his attentions.

To me this translates to the guy spending some time and attention on the woman, by taking her out, talking with her, asking about her and her interests, and paying, yes paying, for several coffees or drinks and a few meals…that’s it. Doesn’t seem that difficult and no matter how old we get it does really feel like all the emotions and thoughts haven’t changed since college and high school dating.

Obviously this recipe is super simple or there is absolutely no way I would have been able to whip it up with all of the above going through my brain!!  Hope you give them a try.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!

pecan-pie-bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes about 24 squares.  You’ll need a 9×9-inch square pan, ungreased.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, cold

2 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

Method:

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar and salt.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Pat into baking dish and bake in preheated oven until light brown.  About 20 minutes.

In same medium bowl whisk eggs and add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla.  Whisk until combined.

Sprinkle pecans over baked crust and pour over egg mixture.  Return to oven and bake approximately 20 more or until filling is set.  Let cool and cut into bars.