Friday, April 06, 2007
My Deep Dark Desire
Lately, I've had plenty of cravings. One moment I would be hankering for hot chocolate, and the next minute, I feel like eating custard buns.
Yesterday, I had a really strong craving, not wait, I wouldn't classify it as a craving. It was more like a desire. A deep, dark desire. A desire so strong I couldn't ignore. So I didn't ignore it.
I made sure I satisfied it.
By baking. Yes, I know, I haven't been baking since I got so busy with school. But hey hey, the holidays are nearing. They're just around the corner actually. I'm really looking forward to it because I really miss the smells and the excitement of baking.
So anyway, what the hell did I bake? Easy ain't it? It's so easy that I don't know why I even bothered asking in the first place. Haha. My dear readers, you know me so well so you shall try answering it. Just remember it is:
Okay I can sense your mild irritation. Pardon me, I just feel restless! Here's a clue, it really has got to do with the first photo up there. Man, don't you just wish you could lick the screen and taste it? I know I do.
Whatever it is, I can't keep it a secret for long:
Gosh you should have seen my face yesterday when I was baking them brownies. No wait, it first started when I got some Barry-Callebaut Carma 47% chocolate couverture from a friend:
My eyes widened with the possibilities.
The possibilities of what wondrous things that can come out of this 2kg block of 'gold'. It was like a giant chocolate block. I imagined myself as an oompas-loompas, grinning from ear to ear, almost breaking in song (but heh I don't think i sing too well)!
Naturally, I thought I'd make some brownies since it's been ages since I baked some. Besides, I had a deep dark desire for some homemade ones. Warm, fresh from the oven brownies - nothing beats that.
I went to search for a kickass brownie recipe that would do the Swiss chocolate justice and I found a yummy-sounding brownie recipe in Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookie Magazine. Double Chocolate Brownie it said. Sounds good to me! So I got down to preparing my chocolate, melting it with butter and unsweetened cocoa powder:
Don't you just love the gloss? It makes me wanna squeal out loud and lick the entire bowl.
Anyway I added more chocolate than required so do bear in mind that you could do that as well... just make sure you balance out the other ingredients. The adapted recipe is below, in case you happen to have a similar deep dark desire :)
Here's the brownie batter in the pan waiting to be turned into dark luscious brownies:
Here's how it looks after baking:
I love the crackling. It looks like earth. Like soil that's dried out. Brownies look handsome with crackles :p
Ahhh..... I tell you, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked brownies. The house was filled with a chocolatey aroma that simply made my day. I missed it so much!
After cutting it into squares, I couldn't resist popping one into my mouth. The verdict?
It was dark all right, and deep. You're probably wondering how a brownie can be deep? When I say deep, I mean depth - how the bitterness measures out with the sweetness. I dig dark chocolate and I don't like something that's too sweet so I appreciate a deep brownie. Or rather, I try to get a brownie to be as deep as I like.
Mum loved it and Sis thought it was the best brownie I've made:
I can see why she said that. These brownies have a more dense cakey texture. It's not exactly fudgey (I don't really like those kinds.... well it depends!) but it's not too dry either. One can taste the rich taste of the chocolate and the sugar doesn't overpower it.
This is how brownies should be. No, I should say this is how I like my brownies :)
I was a very happy person yesterday. So happy that I bought Mocha Almond Chip ice cream to eat my brownies with....
Brownies. What would I do without them?
These pretty dark things made my day and I think I'm slowly slipping back into Ms. Baker mode! Hurray! Now will the holidays please hurry up - I have loads of recipes to conquer!
Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies
adapted from Martha Stewart's Double Chocolate Brownie recipe
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
7 and a half ounces (200 grams) good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed firm)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degree celcius. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until completely melted. Let cool slightly.
3. Mix your flour, baking powder, and salt well and aside.
4. Using an electric mixer (or a handwhisk if you prefer), mix sugar, egg, and vanilla well until pale, about 4 mintues. Add chocolate mixture; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until well combined.
5. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer, when inserted in the brownie, comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes then lift out to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.