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.

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.

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.