Wednesday, May 11, 2005

An Oaty Chocolaty Night

A good baker or cook never follows a recipe word for word. He/She should be able to modify and improvise the various steps, ingredients or methods when neccessary. This is an unsaid rule. I do suppose that's how creativity is cultivated.

Being creative allows you to think on your feet - kinda like mix and match; you see what works and what doesn't, then you go with your gut feeling.

Most of you would be wondering where I'm going with this. Let's just say I had fun last night...

Whilst baking....

again.

Yes, I can't seem to peel away from the old and worn oven that sits in my kitchen. Yesterday's 'adventure' had to do with oats, chocolate, walnuts and raisins.

Nah, I didn't mix them all together...though I somehow did in the end. but that's another story.

I made Flourless Butterless Dark Chocolate Cookie and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. What was the success rate? Pretty high I would say. My 'guinea pigs' (mum, bro, sis) lapped them up in a blink of an eye.

It was my second time using that oat recipe so it was quite a breeze. But it was my first time making the Flourless Butterless Dark Chocolate Cookie and it was a very interesting recipe. As its name suggests, flour and butter was absent. How in the world can a cookie not have flour or butter you say? Kinda like calling a jelly a jelly when there's no gelatine in it ya? Well this one depended mostly on egg whites and confectioner's (icing) sugar mostly.

Cookie batter
flourless butterless dark chocolate cookie

I did like how it tasted though. Like dark chocolate cookies. It was supposed to be crispy on the surface and moist on the inside. Mine was crispy around the edges and delightfully moist in the middle. I had it with cold milk. Ya ya, did the most natural thing and dipped it in milk. Perfect.

cookie with milk

Just then, I had a thought. What if I made mini-cupcakes out of the batter? The batter was more gooey than it was a dough so I gave it a try. I quickly whipped out my cupcake cases (left-overs from making vanilla cupcakes previously, more on that in another post), poured the thick brown batter in and popped them into the oven.

choc cupcake

Result - Phenomenal. It didn't rise as much but the taste was rich and decadent. It attained a moist and dense cake-like textuer that was a pleasure to bite into. Loved how the walnuts added that fantastic crunch. Brilliant. I was glad that I actually improvised. Somehow, I think this recipe works well as a cupcake rather than a cookie one. You'll know what I mean if you ever decide to try it for yourself.

choc walnut cupcake

Next was my Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. This one was a breeze. Simple ingredients, simple steps and viola, delicious cookies that are healthy and nutritious!

cookie dough

The 2 batches came out beautiful and yes I had them with milk too. How could I resist the lure of freshly baked cookies? The cookies were a golden brown and had a simple homely feel to it. Very much like an afternoon tea delight or something you'll have during a picnic under the warm sunlight.

cookie pile
oatmeal raisin cookie

I had some dough left and also some of that chocolate batter from my Flourless Butterless Dark Chocolate Cookie recipe. Then EUREKA. (hehe ignore cheesiness here).

oat choc mix

Surely you would have guessed that happened there and then. I married the two together and they became 2 large Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookie. My very own creation!

oat choc cookie

Being very pleased with the outcome, I finished one by myself. Afterall, I did deserve it, after all that hard work.

cookie monster

And so the baker ended up eating a lot of cookies yesterday night. But do I feel guilty? Nah. It's a simple indulgence I have to let myself have. After eating bland food for the past week due to my wisdom teeth extraction. haha.

Anyway those cookies certainly made my day and hopefully they'll have that same effect on you too. So try them out if you can someday and maybe be creative and do what I did too. Trust me, you'll love the outcome. Besides, would Ms. Baker ever lie to you?

____________________________________________

Flourless Butterless Dark Chocolate Cookies
(Adapted from Payard Patisserie & Bistro in NY)
*Makes 10 large cookies

3/4 cup fine-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/8 teaspoon salk
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 large egg whites
2 cups walnuts (7 oz.), coarsely chopped

- Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit, approx 180 degree celcius
- Whisk together cocoa powder, confectioners sugar, and salt in a bowl.
- Combine vanilla and egg whites in a 2-cup glass measuring cup, then slowly add to cocoa mixture, beating at low speed with an electric mixer. Beat batter at medium speed unti lglossy, abou 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts.
- Drop 5 (1/4 cup) mounds of batter about 3 inches apart onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment. (Batter will spread)
- Put baking sheet on middle rack of oven and reduce temperature to 325 degree Fahrenheit, then bake until small thin cracks appear in tops of cookies, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool cookies completely on baking sheet on a rack and peel from paper.
- Increase oven temperature to 350 degree Fahrenheit and bake another batch in same manner. (Reduce temperature again after putting baking sheet in oven)

[Recipe taken from April 2002 issue of Gourmet magazine]

7 comments:

sari said...

Hey, you really talk like a baker manz~ hahaha.. do post the recipe~ I made oaty bitey before.. I guess with oats, the crust is always crunch n middle is moist n chewy.. heehee and then I improvised a bit, and did a cheesecake like thingy, by having oaty bitey as da base and brownie on top.. all my friends love it!! =)

the baker said...

wow that sounds amazing.. i have to try that some day. but do you cook the bottom bit first? or do you just put the batter on top of the other at once?

Fat Fingers said...

how do you make the flourless butterless dark choco cookie? looks good! i want to try! :D

the baker said...

i got the recipe from Gourmet Mag. I'll post it up soon ya? haha don't have it in soft copy so have to type. i will put it up today k? yes it tastes heavenly! =) wait till u try it..

Fat Fingers said...

hehe take your time baker! :)
thank yoU!

sari said...

O i cooked da bottom for a while first~ =D

L'amateur Baker said...

Hello!

Truly amazing stuff you got here!

I have a question ... maybe you could help me out a little? The Flourless Butterless Dark Chocolate mini cupcakes didn't rise much right? Do you think they might rise and get all puffed up if baking soda was added? I just have this weird fascination with puffed up cupcakes/muffins. Hahah! = )

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