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.

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.

20180404_230901 (1)
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.

20180330_170107 (1)

 

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.

IMG_20180329_151619_203
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.

 

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.

 

Valentine Day Cupcakes (Peanut Butter)


Valentine Day Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes w Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

Chocolate seems to be the flavour of choice for Valentine’s Day but if you’re looking to switch things up this year bake up a batch of PB & J cupcakes.  Peanut butter cupcakes topped with a raspberry icing are a great way to show your love.

The scent alone of these peanut butter cupcakes will have your mouth watering!  You could enjoy one sans the icing as they are wonderfully moist but why anyone would miss an opportunity for raspberry flavoured icing is beyond me.

This delicious and easy to make recipe is from “Salty Sweets” by Christie Matheson.  It bakes up a perfect 12 cupcakes and I’ll bet you already have everything you need at home.  So, don’t waste time as Valentine Day is fast approaching.  Be your own Valentine and bake up a batch just for yourself.

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

Preheat oven to 350F.  Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

3/4 creamy peanut butter (not natural)

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup whole milk

Method:

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

In the bowl of a mix master cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and creamy.  Scrape down bowl.  Add in egg and vanilla and beat together for about 30 seconds.

With mixer on low add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then 1/2 of the milk, then 1/3 of the flour, then remaining milk and last 1/3 of flour, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Don’t overmix.

Divide batter evenly between the 12 cups and bake for about 20 minutes until tops spring back lightly and a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove and let cool completely before icing.

Raspberry Icing:

Beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 4 cups icing sugar.  Add in a tablespoon of cream or milk one at a time until you have a firm icing.  Add in 1 tsp of vanilla and mix.  Add in a couple tablespoonfuls of seedless strawberry jam and mix together well.  If icing is too thin add in a few tablespoons more of icing sugar until desired consistency is reached.

Peanut Butter Cupcake w Raspberry Icing
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing…sweetenufblog

 

 

Caramel Frosting


 

20180110_191253 (2)
Caramel Frosting topped with Caramel Drizzle – Sweetenufblog.com

First comes Caramel sauce, next comes Caramel Frosting (or icing as we call it here in Canada). Well, actually, first comes the sugar and water boiled to a beautiful amber colour and then comes the cream, etc. but believe me you will not be disappointed in this sweet smooth icing and the extra effort to make the caramel from scratch is well worth the time.

Satiny, sweet and full of mellow flavour this sauce is Nirvana!!  Set a little aside  to drizzle over top whatever you currently have in the works or tuck it away for your next ice cream attack.  A big spoonful when your craving something sweet or maybe a little drizzle into your coffee or on top of some fruit.  I figure whatever you choose to snack on with Caramel Sauce or even Caramel Icing in the privacy of your own kitchen is your business.  Who am I to judge!! You might just make the Caramel sauce again and again even if you don’t need any more icing.

Caramel Frosting (Bake From Scratch Cake Issue 2016)

Makes about 5 cups.

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup whipping cream (35% cream), warmed slightly

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 cups icing sugar

Method:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Stop stirring and leave the mixture to cook until it is amber in colour.  (Very important to make sure your sugar mixture turns a nice deep amber colour.)  If any sugar crystals form on the side of the saucepan use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides.  Remove from heat.

Add in the cold cubed butter and stir with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will foam up.  Gradually add the cream, vanilla and salt.  Stir until mixture is smooth.

Transfer mixture into a medium bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water to cool for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Once cool set aside 1/3 cup of the caramel to drizzle on top of your iced cake or cupcakes.

Caramel Icing Sweetenufblog

Place cooled caramel in a mixing bowl and add softened butter.  Beat on medium speed until combined.  Add in icing sugar gradually, beating well after each addition.

Use immediately as icing will harden.