Saturday, June 29, 2013

Brownie Waffles

You know what's delicious? Homemade waffles. You know what sucks about having homemade waffles? Cleaning the waffles maker. I swear that contraption was specifically designed so that no one could get between the grooves. I have small fingers and even I can't get those silly things cleaned!

This is why I hardly make waffles, which is sad because honestly, homemade waffles are soo soo much better! With my hate for waffles makers aside, I knew I had to make these brownie waffles at some point in my life. Why? Because it's made of chocolate and who doesn't like chocolate?!

I love chocolate, especially dark and fudgey type chocolate treats. These waffles really taste like chocolate cake, only a little better I think. Chocolate cake usually has a dry texture and is unpleasant. These waffles are soft and perfectly chocolatey.

These can be used as a vehicle for any other sweet treat you desire, like vanilla bean ice cream, berries and whipped cream, chocolate syrup, really anything else you can think of. I personally liked tearing the waffles into triangles, warming them up, and dipping each one into chocolate syrup.
Brownie Waffles
Recipe from Domestic Fits
Makes about 10 4-inch round waffles

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk, divided
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, divided
¼ cup sugar

Preheat your waffle maker according to manufacturer’s specifications

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. In a bowl set over simmering water (a double boiler) melt the chocolate chips and ½ cup of the milk. Stir to combine. Once melted, remove from heat and add the remaining milk, oil, vanilla, and both egg yolks. In a clean glass bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar until soft peaks form and the mixture becomes glossy.

Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Fold in the egg whites until just incorporated.

Cook waffles according to manufacturer’s specifications. My waffle iron is about 4 inches in diameter and I used 1/3 cup of batter for each waffle.   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Peanut Butter Filled Brownies

I am probably one of the clumsiest person in the world. I once told one of my teachers all the accidents I had involving me going to the hospital and getting stitches before I was even six years old and she was shocked. She joked to the class that if the B Team (the emergency team at school) was ever called look around to see if I was there, because if not, it’s probably me.
A few weeks ago I was straightening my hair, and I told control of the flatiron. My reflexes kicked in and I grabbed the hot metal plates, which caused me to drop the thing onto my foot. Then the next day I was on my way inside the airport (I was still in the parking lot area) and I did a total face plant onto the scratchiest rug ever. I skinned both hands so I couldn’t use them, I skinned my elbow so bad I couldn’t bend it, and I skinned my knee so bad I couldn’t walk properly. My dad said I looked like I had a wooden leg.

Not only was I just a mess, I couldn’t find Neosporin or bandaids ANYWHERE in the freaking airport, so I went for about four or five hours without anything to protect my new wounds. Then, when my dad and I finally found bandaids, we couldn’t find anything to disinfect them except for some hand sanitizer. Let me tell you this now, never ever in a million years put hand sanitizer on a wound larger than a nickel. You will buckle down and cry.

Anyways, I made these brownies the day before my little airport fiasco. And I’m so sad I did because that meant I only got to eat one of these marvelous creations. I know for a fact that as soon as I get back from my little vacation I will be making these ASAP.

Erin, over at Texanerin Baking, makes unhealthy treats a little more healthy, but you can’t taste the health. I have made quite a few of her recipes, and each one was a success. These are by far my absolute favorite though!

The brownie part is sooooo fudgy and chocolatey. It really is amazing. Although I don’t think it would be nearly as amazing without the peanut butter middle. The recipe calls for homemade peanut butter (just pulverizing peanuts in a food processor until it reaches peanut butter consistency) but I didn’t have that. Instead I bought some natural peanut butter at the store. The only brand I could find that had peanuts as the only ingredient was Krema. Dear god this stuff was so good and it even smelled like regular peanut butter. The only thing about it was its loose consistency, which probably caused the filling to be more of a batter than a thick filling. The brownies still baked up perfectly though. The peanut butter filling was not nearly as thick as Erin’s was, but since when does appearance affect awesome flavor?

Peanut Butter Filled Brownies
Slightly adapted from Texanerin Baking
Makes one 8x8 inch pan

Peanut Butter Filling
1 cup natural peanut butter (I used Krema)
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil

¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil. Grease foil with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, and oil. If your coconut oil isn’t soft, let it sit out at room temperature before mixing with the peanut butter and honey. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while you make the brownie batter.

Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding one as soon as the previous has disappeared into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla. Add all of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold to combine (the mixture will be thick and dark).

Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the peanut butter filling over the brownie batter. Spread the peanut butter filling towards the edges. A bit of brownie batter may get swirled in, that is totally fine, they will just become peanut butter swirl brownies! Cover the filling with the remaining brownie batter.

Place pan on the center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out mostly clean with the exception of a few moist crumbs and a bit of peanut butter filling. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for at least 30-45 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, slice and serve.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cake Slice Bakers - June 2013: Black and White Cake

Hello, and Happy Thursday! I have more magnificent cake to share with you today from Julie Richardson’s Vintage Cakes. I know I didn’t share last month’s cake, but in all honesty there was just so much going on what with coming back home, getting settled, and then my sister’s graduation, there was absolutely no time to bake that cake. So because of that little slip up I made sure to make this month’s cake (I as so determined I made it about two weeks in advance).

This month’s cake is called the Black and White Cake. It’s basically the exact opposite of The Classic I made back in January. This is a dark chocolate cake filled and topped with chocolate ganache and creamy vanilla buttercream. Although this has not been my favorite cake out of the book, it definitely is delicious!

The recipe for the cake requires hot coffee, and since I am not a coffee drinker and no nothing about coffee, I grabbed any old thing of coffee my dad had lying around. It turns out I grabbed some pretty strong coffee because the chocolate cake turned into a chocolate mocha cake. The resulting flavor was surprising, but it was a sort of nice surprise. And after a day in the fridge, the mocha flavor subsided just a enough to bring the flavor of chocolate through a little more. So, if you like the taste of chocolate mocha, go for the strong stuff, if you want just a chocolate cake, reach for the decaf.

The only tricky part about this cake is the frosting. This is a basic vanilla buttercream, but it called for egg whites and cooking it down with sugar and a bit of cream of tartar. I have never used a buttercream recipe that called for egg whites only because I’m afraid I won’t cook it enough and someone will get sick. Despite my apprehension, I did make the classic vanilla buttercream and it was so creamy and smooth. I can’t wait to try another variation of this buttercream method.

The recipe I have down below makes two 8-inch round cakes. However, I halved the recipe to get one layer and I cut that layer in half horizontally.

Black and White Cake
Makes two 8-inch round cake
Slightly adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

¾ cup (60g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup hot coffee
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (180g) unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup (240g) dark brown sugar
1/3 cup (64g) sugar
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 recipe chocolate ganache (below)
1 recipe vanilla buttercream (bellow)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper. Grease each pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot coffee and stir until thick. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla. The mixture will still be thick but it will be a little looser. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Slowly add in both sugars. Beat until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time until. Beat until fully incorporated. Turn the mixer speed down to low and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture in two parts. Begin and end with the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are blended together.

Pour half of the batter into one prepared pan and the remaining batter in the other pan. Tap each pan on the counter a few times to allow air bubbles to escape. Place each pan on the center rack, evenly spaced, and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle and the tops are cracked.

Cool the cakes in the pan for 30 minutes before inverting them and placing them top side up on a cooling rack to cool completely before assembling.

To assemble the cake, lay one of the cakes, top side up, on a serving plate.  Frost the top with about ½ cup of ganache, spreading it just before the edge of the cake. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes to allow the ganache to firm up. Once the ganache has firmed, spread about 1 cup of the buttercream, covering the ganache, and taking it all the way to the edge of the cake. Align the second cake on top of the buttercream, top side up. Frost the top with another ½ cup cup of ganache. Chill in the fridge for another 5 minutes. Once chilled, spread a thin coat of buttercream all around the cake, creating a crumb coat.  Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up the thin layer of frosting. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Decorate the cake with dots or kissed with any of the remaining ganache in desired.

Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 1 ½ cups

1 cup heavy cream
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips

Place the chocolate into a medium heat-proof bowl. Heat cream in a medium sauce pan set over medium low heat. Stir occasionally until the cream starts to simmer. Remove the cream from heat and pour over chocolate. Swirl the bowl to ensure all the chocolate is coated. Cover the bowl with a lid and let the cream and chocolate sit together for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir the cream and chocolate together. First start with small circles in the center and gradually increase until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to sit up to a couple hours to become creamy.

Vanilla Buttercream
Makes about 5 cups

6 egg whites
1 ¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Using a hand whisk, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. The more the mixture is heated, the more fluid-like it will become. Continue to gently whisk the mixture until very hot to the touch (130 F on a candy thermometer).

Move the bowl to the stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip the whites and sugar mixture together on medium-high speed until it has tripped in volume and its appearance is thick, glossy, and holds stiff peaks. Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed until the bowl is cool to touch. Turn the speed back up and add the butter, one cube at a time. At first the mixture will still look like meringue, then the frosting will look as if it has curdled. Continue to add butter and mix no matter what. Continue to whip the buttercream until it is fluffy and creamy. Blend in the vanilla and salt until combined.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two

There is nothing like a chocolate chip cookie straight out of the oven, seriously. Perfect chocolate chip cookies are ooey and gooey and look like melted cookie dough in the center with firm, golden brown edges.

It’s obvious from the title of this blog that cookies are my kind of treat. I will always reach for the cookie platter on a dessert table when given options. But have you noticed how many dang cookies a single recipe makes? Most cookie recipes make between two and three dozen (I usually end up with about three and a half dozen cookies). Sometimes you want to make cookies but don’t want to make a full batch. Well you could always freeze the dough in portions and then place them in a zip lock bag like I usually do, or you could use a recipe that makes enough cookies for two people.

Audra from The Baker Chick came up with a recipe that makes six decently sized cookies or two really gigantic cookies (I also used my normal cookie scoop and got 11 cookies out of it).

These cookies spread out when cooked at room temperature and stay puffed up when chilled and then baked. I personally like the texture of the puffed up cookies, but that’s because of the gooeyness that resulted from it. If you bake these cookies at room temperature the texture is chewier. These are some seriously delicious cookies, and each one baked up like its been “photoshoped” as my sister puts it.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two
Recipe from The Baker Chick
Makes 2 gigantic cookies, or 6 3-inch cookies, or 11 normal sized cookies

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and warm
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 egg yolk, room temperature
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the warm melted butter and brown sugar until combined. The mixture will look very thick. Whisk in the egg yolk and vanilla until creamy. Fold in the flour until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half or into 6 equal portions. Space the cookie portions about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The insides will look like its not baking but it’s much better to underbake than over bake, so once the tops of the cookies have firmed up, take them out of the oven. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a cooling rack (as if you would really follow this step, psh)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Buttermilk Cinnamon Cake

I have been so, so lazy lately. I know this because I haven’t been getting out of bed until 8 am every morning for the past month (which is by no means normal for me). Then I look a recipes and think of making things and then I get caught up in sitting in bed and doing absolutely nothing. I don’t like being lazy. I need to be doing something. So now I’m getting off my lazy butt and making delicious things for you to drool over (and possibly make yourselves –hinthint-)

Today I bring you something I have been meaning to make for such a long time now. I think I have written the recipe down on at least three different occasions, but never made it. This is something I really regret because this cake is so moist, so tender, and best of all, so cinnamony that you will scrunch down on your seat and do your little happy-wiggle dance (you know you have one).

If you haven’t checked out Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, please do. And when you do try to pick your jaw up off the floor with as much dignity as you can. Her food is so rich, fattening, and scrumdidliumptious, just how desserts should look and taste. But if her food is not your style, just go for her words. I love every single post because of her words. Even if I don’t like the look of what she is sharing, I still read for her wit and wisdom.

So, back to this cake – Peabody calls it a bread but to me it has more qualities of a cake. This cake is very soft and has a beautiful swirl of cinnamon inside. I ate one slice plain and at room temperature. The cake was delicious, but I couldn’t really taste the cinnamon. Later that night I tried a slice heated in the microwave with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and WOW! That made all the difference. The cinnamon flavor was heightened about 100 times and the hot-cold combination of the cake and ice cream was out of this world. I really recommend eating a slice warmed up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Buttermilk Cinnamon Cake
Makes one 9x5 inch loaf pan

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
¼ cup canola oil
¾ cup sugar

½ cup sugar
½ tbsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, and sugar until completely combined. Fold the flour mixture into the buttermilk. Stir just until combined, do not over mix. In a small bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and ½ tbsp. cinnamon.

Spoon about 1/3 to ½ of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle as much of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Cover the cinnamon sugar with the remaining batter. Sprinkle a little more cinnamon sugar on top. With a knife, swirl the cinnamon sugar through the batter, much like making a marble cake.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cake to cool in the pan for about 30-45 minutes. Turn the cake out and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cake is completely cool, drizzle glaze over the top of the cake. Slice and serve.

To make glaze, combine ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 tbsp. milk. Add more or less milk to obtain desired consistency.   
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...