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.

Hashtag Pie, Oh My! Chocolate Chip Cookies Instead


Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sweetenufblog – chocolate chip cookies

I was looking for inspiration to fuel a stint of pie making.  I figured a quick search on Instagram, maybe viewing a lemon meringue pie or an apple pie would get my creative baking juices flowing.  Pie is just pie, right?   After all the definition of pie is a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.

#pie…so simple.  But once again I seem to have missed the memo related to searching in today’s tech world.  I was expecting images of colourful scrumptious looking fruit pies with perfectly browned lattice tops or maybe, some fancy pastry cutouts adorning said pies.  Unfortunately, this was not the case as I quickly learned!

Seems #pie isn’t for pies made with pastry and fruit. It’s for FEET!  Oh yes, lots and lots of bare feet. Big feet and little feet.  Some with wrinkly soles, long toes and polished nails. But sill feet and interestingly enough it seems to be just women’s feet.  I’m pretty sure I’d recognize man feet if I saw them.  Who knew there could be so many interesting ways to photograph feet…wet feet, bottoms of feet, jewelled feet and feet encased in strappy footwear and, well, it goes on and on.

After my inital ‘ick’ it was like a train wreck I couldn’t turn away from. It appears the ‘foot fetish’ people like their feet attached to scantily clad bosoms and behinds.  Maybe the attractiveness of the bare feet increase with the barer the body attached to those feet.  Since I had to stop looking before I saw something I wouldn’t be able to recover from my research into the #pie has come to an end.

This is why today’s recipe is for Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I needed a chocolate fix to settle myself down and baking a pie will need to sit on the back burner for a while longer.

Chopped ChocolateThese chewy in the centre and crisp on the edges cookies are full of chocolate.  This recipe from ‘Bake from Scratch’ has been made twice this week in my kitchen and I’m down to my last cookie.  I modified the recipe slightly by using both whole wheat and all-purpose flours, both chocolate chips and chopped chocolate and a little less vanilla.

Using both chips and chopped chocolate makes for the perfect chocolate ratio in every bite.  The chopped chocolate melts and spreads while the chips keep their shape.

Just make sure you have a few at the ready if and when you decide to starting look up hashtags on Instagam!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Parchment line 2-3 cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, soda and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Scrap the bowl halfway through.  Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in vanilla.

With mixer on low, gradually add in  flour mixture and mix only until combined.

Fold in chocolate.  Use large scoop and place cookies on prepared sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake cookies about 12-14 minutes.  Cookies will brown around edges but remain soft in the centre.

If using a medium scoop check cookies after about 9-10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

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.

 

Pound Cake – Easy, Breezy and Beautiful

Pound Cake – Easy, Breezy and Beautiful

img_20161211_194937307-2Simple, sweet and stunning!  This ‘Classic Pound Cake’ from Bake from Scratch’s Cake issue is delicious and baking it in my new Nordicware Fleur de Lis pan takes it from blah to fab even with no drizzle or embellishments.img_20161212_100150326-2

A word to the wise, don’t bake this cake when you’re in a rush, as it needs about 2 hours of baking time in a low oven (300F).  My bundt pan had a 10-cup capacity so I filled 2 individual bundt pans with my leftover batter.  This way you have a little taste tester or a little treat for yourself.

This recipe is delicious.  Dense and flavourful as well as moist it presents beautifully when baked up in a pretty pan and can be left unadorned or would take well to a dusting of icing sugar or sweet cocoa powder.

This cake has no leavening agent so don’t be alarmed.  Make sure to spend at least 6-8 minutes beating your room temperature butter with the sugar in order to create the lightness you need in this cake.  You could also change up the vanilla to almond flavouring or even add in some orange zest.

Classic Pound Cake

Preheat oven to 300F and spray a 15-cup bundt pan using spray with flour.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups granulated sugar

7 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method:

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 6-7 minutes. Scrape down beaters and bowl a couple of times during mixing.

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

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the whipping cream, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until ingredients are combined after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.  Cover loosely with foil, and bake an additional 45-55 minutes more, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 15 minutes and then remove from pan and cool completely.  Garnish with icing sugar if desired.

img_20161212_100150326-2

 

This would be a terrific holiday dessert for this Christmas season.  Enjoy!