Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chocolate Pudding Cake

With my mom in town last weekend we took advantage of being together with celebrating Mother's Day.  My mom loves chocolate and we decided the best way to celebrating would be to bake a chocolate cake together.  Not only did we enjoy spending time in the kitchen "working" but we got to have some marvelous cake too.  

This was quite possibly the world's ugliest chocolate cake however it is also super rich and gooey. It was nice to have an extra set of hands to get all of the separate steps complete. This cake is like none I have ever made.  In the end I was horrified to see that we were suppose to top the batter with brown sugar and cocoa and then boiling water.  It is cringe worthy as you pour the water over the cake.  However this is the good part - the ooey, gooey chocolate sauce that remains when the cake comes out of the oven.

We put the cake in right as we sat down for dinner. The timing was perfect as it was done and still warm as we finished.  Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it was the best gift for Mother's Day.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate cake
Ingredients (serves 12)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well combined. If there are lumps of brown sugar, use your hands to break them up. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together over medium-low heat.
In a separate small saucepan, heat buttermilk over low heat until barely warmed. You don't want it to bubble or boil. Remove from heat.

Remove chocolate and butter mixture from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and stir until combined. Spread into the prepared pan.

Combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups brown sugar with the cocoa in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth, using your hands to break up any brown sugar clumps. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the chocolate cake batter.

Pour the boiling water evenly over the cake.

Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch, but still jiggly.

Remove cake from oven and cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.
To serve, invert each serving on a plate so that the fudge sauce on the bottom becomes a topping. Spoon any extra sauce in the pan over the top. You can serve the cake at room temperature or warm. Top with ice cream.
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Monday, May 2, 2016

Brioche #secretrecipeclub

Oh my why do weekends have to go by so fast?  We had a lovely visit from my parents this weekend.  They did some expert babysitting while we got some things done around the house. We also explored the park and of course ate quite well. 

I cannot believe that it is already May.  I am not really sure where April went.  But I will take May and hopefully the warmer temperatures.  Every warm day we go outside and have such a fun time with Miss Olivia.

Last week I posted for the last time for the Secret Recipe Club under group D.  The member list for group D had dwindled down and we ended having each other as partners over and over again.  Not a bad thing as there were always tasty recipes to be found but it was decided that we would divide up into some of the other groups.  I am now in group A posting at the beginning of the month. Thus this back to back Secret Recipe Club posts.

If my pick for group A shows what is to coming I will be having many more months of good finds.  Rachel of Pizza Rossa is from Australia but currently lives in Geneva.  She has many vegetarian dishes as her and her family eat without meat. However what really drew me in was her bread recipes.  There are a ton.  There were several that caught my eye like the Vanilla Ricotta Bread and the sticky Caramel Swirl Bread.  Can you blame me?  I am actually impressed now that I bypassed these the first time around. 

I ended up making the Brioche.  Brioche has been on my baking bucket list for years. I love sandwiches with brioche buns.  I opted to follow the recipe this first time around and made a loaf but I will be attempting again for rolls.  Like many breads this took some planning as it had a few rise times. However, the wait was well worth it.  


by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes plus rise time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake bread
Ingredients (1 loaf)
  • 7 tsp tepid milk
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 2/5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 rounded Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with Tbsp milk, for egg wash
Heat the milk in a small bowl, add the yeast and stir to dissolve.

Put the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and pour in the milk and beaten eggs. Mix on low speed for five minutes, until completely combined.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula, then mix at medium speed for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth.

Switch to a dough hook, and, with the mixer running at low speed, add the butter a teaspoon at a time. It will look very buttery at first, and will take about ten minutes for the butter to be completely incorporated.

When the butter is all incorporated, increase the speed and mix for about ten minutes, until the dough is very smooth and comes away from the bowl.

Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about two hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

Knock the dough back by folding it over two or three times with a bowl scraper. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours (overnight works well).
Remove dough from fridge and bring to room temperature for about 2 hours.

Heavily butter a 9 inch loaf pan.

Scrape dough out onto work surface and knead gently into a ball, then stretch and roll into a log. Place dough in loaf tin and brush lightly with egg wash.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in sized.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the brioche lightly again with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for a further 30 minutes.

Let the brioche cool in the tin for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Keeps for 2 – 3 days wrapped well in aluminium foil in the pantry.
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Friday, April 29, 2016

12 Cinco de Mayo Inspired Recipes

Cinco de Mayo is coming up. I have no Hispanic heritage.   And I hear that even in Mexico this isn't a big holiday. Something, to a certain extent, Americans made up. We love Mexican food with all sorts of spice and probably eat some variation at least once a week. It should be no surprise then that come Cinco de Mayo we are ready to go big.  

Below are some of our favorite dishes.  We will be picking some kind of combination for next week.  On top of that the office is having a Cinco de Mayo potluck.  I will be doubling up on my festivities.  What are your plans for Cinco de Mayo?

Tator Tot Nachos
Healthy Mexican Vegetable Lasagna

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Acorn Squas, Black Bean and Spinach Quesadilla
Mexican Corn Soup
Taco Salad

Shredded Chicken Taquitos
Corn Risotto Stuffed Peppers
Five Layer Mexican Black Bean Dip

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