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Recently I have been experimenting with brownie recipes. Embarking on the task of finding and amazing brownie is not an expedition for the feint of heart. What characteristics does a brownie need? Well it needs to be:

  1. Chewy
  2. Chocolaty
  3. Browniey
  4. Quick
  5. Foolproof

The only true method to find out these things is to go through each recipe one by one, in a barbaric trial-by-fire method until you find one that tickles your fancy. I went through quite a few recipes but, most forgot about characteristics #1, #4 and #5 and therefore only got 40% of the overall brownie experience, which, for your information, is not acceptable in any way, shape or form.

ΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘΘ

FUN FACT:

Did you know that there is actually something called

the edge brownie pan, designed to make only delicious edge pieces?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnCGatFwag0

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Anyway, this recipe produces a very satisfying brownie indeed. Chewy, chocolaty and, in some ways most importantly, super easy, done (including cleanup) in 30 minutes (not including baking time. I grant this recipe the highest rank I can give it… a true spoon licker. Seriously, if you make these with someone younger and less powerful and they ask if they can lick the spoon, you say ‘No!’, overpower them and lick it yourself, that’s how good it is. So go make some brownies (and lick a spoon while you’re at it!) and absolutely, positively, I could not stress this more, don’t share…EVER!!!

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Also, if you are out of light brown sugar, and there’s no chance to nip to a convenience store for the chocolate, then just use 1 1/2 cups regular white sugar and up the butter to 1 1/2 and the cocoa to a heady 1 cup.

Ingredients

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

About 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small nuggety chunks (or 1 cup chips)

Confectioners’ sugar, to dust, optional

Special Equipment: Aluminium foil-lined baking pan or foil pan, about 13 x 9 x 2 inches

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium-sized saucepan.

When it’s melted, add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon (still over a low heat) to help it blend with the melted butter.

Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and pinch of salt, and then stir into the pan; when mixed (this will be a very dry mixture, and not wholly blended at this stage), remove from the heat.

In a bowl or jug, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and then mix into the brownie mixture in the pan.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and quickly pour and scrape into a foil-lined baking tin or disposable foil pan, spreading the mixture with a spatula, and cook in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes. It will look set, dark and dry on top, but when you feel the surface, you will sense it is still wibbly underneath and a cake tester will come out gungy. This is desirable.

These are wicked warm or cold, although do let them cool a few minutes first, also if you eat them warm be ready for a gooey delicious.

Make Ahead Note: The brownies can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in airtight container. Will keep for total of 5 days.

Freeze Note: The brownies can be frozen for up to 3 months in airtight container, layered with baking parchment. Thaw overnight in cool place.

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I haven’t gotten to cook anything today because I’m going to Vancouver for the weekend and I had to pack. Having sad that I ate something like four pieces of banana bread my mom made so, you tell me. Anyway I must keep it short, let me warn you though there may be some reviews of some swag joints in the city coming your way, so pretty much the moral of this story is… brace yourself.

Also, some words of wisdom:  1. be creative 2.try something new (you understand this isn’t necessarily about cooking).

I digress, I must now got to the sleep, I bid you good evening.

 

Profiteroles

Posted: January 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

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Another thing that I made over the holidays that was totally to die for, were profiteroles. Profiteroles are tiny pockets of joy and happiness. They are just so unbelievably good. for example, if you were to take a couch cushion (or something else purely in-edible) and covered them in profiteroles it would suddenly be worth of a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. That’s how good they are.

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The pastry that makes up the bulk of this godsend is called choux pastry. It is piped onto the pan as a sort of, paste thingey… not super appetising. Although, once it bakes, using the power of eggs, it becomes hollow and awaits your creative fillings. Now the pastry itself is rather flavourless to be honest, so all you need to do is fill up a piping bag with chantilly cream (it’s a fancy way of saying whipped cream with some vanilla and sugar), poke a hole in the bottom of the profiteroles and fill, top with some dark chocolate sauce and you’ve done it; you have just created culinary fusion to its fullest potential.

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Heaven, pure and utter heaven (plus its fun! No seriously, it’s a great recipe to try). Anyway, enough dabble you want to know how to make these suckers don’t ya! That’s right, you do! I found this recipe on YouTube and it worked perfectly so, here it is:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NuHWW01nxY

Amazingly Amazing Roast Chicken

Posted: January 8, 2013 in cooking

20130103_185830Well, winter break is over so I am officially back into the swing of things (and that includes blogging, as I didn’t do it this December). I hope you all had great time this festive season. Anyway, as for cooking, well I haven’t stopped on account of, well, I love it! So I have lots of tales to tell you about, but let me start with that of my very first roast chicken.

This chicken was outstanding, the meat was moist and beautifully cooked and the skin was crispy (not fried chicken crispy, but crispy) and the veggies that were roasted along with it were perfect.

Preheat your oven to 405°F

To get started, peel and wash enough potatoes and carrots to evenly fill the bottom of your pan throw in halve a head of crushed garlic, lightly grease it all with some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper (you can also add and other veggies you wan). Now take you chicken and pull out and organs and whatnot. Then cut an onion into eights, halve a lemon, quarter an apple, crush the rest of the garlic and have some sprigs of rosemary or thyme. Have this all at the ready. Now open up your bird and throw in one segment of each with the garlic and spices, then continue to add segments (I just did it randomly) until the bird is full, quickly boil a thick sewing needle then thread it with some dental floss or whatever there is on hand and sew up the bird. Put it into the pan (yes the one with the carrots and potatoes) and spared the veggies around it, rub it with some olive oil and salt and pepper.

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Throw it into the oven, then turn it down to 350°F and cook for 20 minutes per pound, every 1/2 an hour baste with whatever juices there are and occasionally add a little olive oil. once it’s done check the temperature with a thermometer  (it will say how hot it needs to be on it) and let it rest for 15minutes before serving. Then just dig in.

The Reformation

Posted: December 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

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On the first of December, at the Christmas craft fair on the island, I officially started eating gluten and sugar again. That means I made it fifty three days! So you could say that I am pretty proud of myself. It was definitely necessary though, getting back on gluten and sugar, because by the end I was having dreams about eating cake and burgers, I could actually taste the food in my dreams and at one point I think I started crying, whether they were tears of joy -for eating these delicious and coveted foods- or tears of guilt and sadness? It is lost on me. I know, it was weird… very weird. So as my stomach pushed my mind into light to medium insanity I was forced (ok forced myself rather) to make sugar and gluten filled foods for the enjoyment of others. I would watch them with my plain yogurt from my solitary corner as they would devour whatever it was that I had made. You ever see the Lord of The Rings? You know Golem Smeagol? Just imagine him in that corner, coveting the ‘ring’ or, in my case, gluten pumped foods.

So, you must think that I am happy, all insanity cured and able to eat what I have craved for weeks upon weeks. Well, I’m not. Why? Because exactly one day after my reformation I became sick. What does that mean, dear reader? It means that all sugar and gluten intake is to be slowed to a minimum… deep sigh.

A Single Scoop

Posted: November 6, 2012 in cooking, treat

When I was a little kid my favourite flavour of ice cream was French Vanilla, no questions asked. Someone could take me to the pink palace in Vancouver so I could scrutinize all 218 flavours but all I would want was French Vanilla. So I guess -even with all the other flavours in the world- if the world were to end and I could have one more perfect scoop, French Vanilla would be the one. Now I love ice cream beyond belief and all flavours of ice cream but French Vanilla has this elegance to it that makes it perfect for toping virtually anything yet also amazing on it’s own. Don’t get me wrong though, some of the best Vanillas I have tasted have been variations of the classic. Such as this honey French Vanilla, give it a try… to die for.

To start take 2 cups of heavy cream, 2 cups whole milk, 1/2 a cup of honey, one vanilla bean (scrape the seeds then add both the seeds and the pod) and a pinch of salt to a boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Meanwhile, start beating 3 egg yolks in a large bowl. Once the cream mixture comes to a boil remove it from the heat and cover it for five minutes. After the five minutes take out the pod and pour the hot cream -in a thin stream- into the egg yolks, beating constantly. Once it is fully incorporated Pour it back into the pan and stir over low heat with a wooden spoon until it registers 175˚F on an instant read thermometer and coats the back of a wooden spoon roughly 5-10min. Don’t ever raise the heat, keep it low also, don’t let it boil… ever! If it does take it and try to work out imperfections. Once it’s done, strain it using a fine mesh sieve into a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Then you can take roughly one cup and pop it into the freezer and put the rest into the fridge for at least four hours (for best results). After that time mix the frozen section with the chilled section, add a tbls. of vanilla extract pour into your ice-cream machine and freeze as directed.

One of my friends has a birthday on Halloween. His party was a few days later, on the third. My gift to him was to make him his birthday cake. I chose to make him a six layer chocolate cake with a pecan praline buttercream; each layer spread with a thin layer of chocolate frosting (for moistness and flavour) and every other layer spread with the buttercream then the outside spread with the praline goodness.

Ahhh, 3:30 A.M

It ended up being one of the most aesthetically beautiful things to leave my kitchen. I could not be more proud of my cake; the edges were beautifully smooth, the top was flat and the buttercream had the most perfect speaking of praline. The irony is that I stayed up until three thirty, making a cake that I couldn’t even try (gluten and sugar free, yall’) so I had no idea what it tasted like! -Luckily though I had my parental units so I trusted them with the judging of the flavour.- Everyone at the party loved the cake and it continued to get rave reviews when I made it to school after the weekend.

Along with the main cake I made a separate mini cake (the recipe I used makes four cakes, I only needed three so I had one to play around with), unfortunately no pictures were obtained because I left it to go get my camera and when I got back all that remained of the cake were a few lone crumbs. There is no evidence so far but I have a feeling I know who it was.

Anyway, this cake is obviously perfect and should be made for anyone who likes chocolate, caramel and pecans. So yeah, pretty much and body on this planet!