Missing: One cute little silver Pentax Optio S5i.
Reward: A lifetime of weekly cookie deliveries.
A baking blog without photos is like a bagel without cream cheese, so you'll have to sit tight while I sort this out.
Look for a refreshing summer drink when I get back...
The Casual Baker
Friday, May 29, 2009
Missing: One cute little silver Pentax Optio S5i.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Ah, vacation. Finally. And something to do with that half-used jar of marshmallow cream jammed between the soy sauce and garlic dill pickles. Finally.
I'm always disappointed by the dried up, crumbly cakes posing as brownies on catered goodie trays, downright appalled by those who willingly nosh on them,
and completely mystified when someone remarks on their tastiness.
A real brownie is half cake, half fudge. A real brownie oozes butter and chocolate. A real brownie has crunchy edges and a soft, moist centre. A real brownie balks at icing.
Bake these people a real brownie, then show them how easy it really is.
1 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 jar marshmallow cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 9x13-inch square pan with parchment paper.
In a double boiler, over low heat, combine the butter and chocolate. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add the salt, sugars and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture. Fold in the flour.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth. Drop large spoonfuls of marshmallow cream, evenly spaced, on top of the brownie batter. Drag a regular kitchen knife through the marshmallow cream to create a marble effect.
Bake until the top has formed a shiny crust and the batter is moderately firm (about 45 minutes). Cool in the pan on a rack.
Source: The core brownie recipe was originally published in Nick Malgieri's Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers and posted online by David Lebovitz at Living The Sweet Life in Paris.
Casual Baker Notes: Looking to expand your brownie repertoire? Check out my Junior Mint and Spice Crumble Brownies.
Labels: Bars and squares
Friday, May 01, 2009
On the odd occasion when my mom would head out for an evening with friends and W. and I would be left to our own devices, fudgemaking was frequently our activity of choice.
Ours were the simple fudges of Women of Unifarm and Fannie Farmer, most recipes so basic they eschewed the precision of a candy thermometer for the intuition of a cold water test. Sometimes smooth, sometimes grainy, and sometimes -- when we weren't on the ball -- a whole lot more caramel than fudge.
The recipes were relatively straightforward with few ingredients, all ready and waiting in the cupboard. Nothing quite like the laundry list of exotic ingredients required here: marshmallow cream, sweetened condensed milk, espresso powder, not one but two(!) kinds of chocolate...
I must confess, though, it was worth the trip to the grocery store. Ultra smooth, super rich and just the right balance of sweet chocolate and bitter coffee. This batch yields 30 pieces according to Epicurious, but I say see what moves you. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of that marshmallow cream.
Espresso Chocolate Fudge
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup salted butter
Line an 8-inch square glass baking dish with aluminum foil.
Combine the bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, marshmallow cream and vanilla extract in medium bowl.
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, mix the water and espresso powder until the espresso powder dissolves. Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and butter. Stir until the sugar dissolves, brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally with a wet pastry brush.
Attach a clip-on candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-heat and stir constantly, but slowly, with a wooden spoon until the candy thermometer registers 234 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 minutes).
Immediately pour the mixture over the chocolate and marshmallow cream waiting in the bowl. (Don't scrape the saucepan!) Stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon until all of the chocolate melts and the fudge thickens slightly (about 3 minutes).
Transfer the fudge to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top using a rubber spatula. Refrigerate uncovered until firm enough to cut (about 2 hours).
*A great Judy Blume novel.
Notes: While testing the pre-chocolate coffee concoction, it occurred to me that coffee walnut fudge would be a delectable taste sensation.
Source: Available at Epicurious.com, but originally published in Bon Appétit in December 2005.