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Posts Tagged ‘martha stewart’

Crusty Brownies

March 23, 2013 3 comments

I wanted instant gratification today. I wanted to make something which is quick, fast, and doesn’t need pages of instructions to execute.

Hence,

Brownies.

brownies

With just a lil bit of melting and mixing, brownies are usually ready to go.

Butter & chocolate melted over fire, sugar stirred in, flour folded in and voila! Very foolproof.

That’s where i was wrong.

Because the way you melt butter and chocolate, the way sugar is stirred in, affect the way your brownie turn out.

Let me try breaking it down.

Brownie recipes usually start with

Here’s an extract of the recipe I worked with

  1. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.

See the instructions in red?

That’s where this recipe deviates. Because as far as i know it, brownie recipes usually ask for the sugar to be stirred into the hot butter chocolate mixture to let it dissolve, and to create that papery thin shiny skin in brownies.

But then again, this is a Martha Stewart recipe.

She’s Martha Stewart. I am me.

Who am i to point out something Martha Stewart surely, surely can’t miss.

brownies 1

So, off i go, proceeding with the recipe as written.

But just as I suspected, the resultant brownie was just… meh…

Instead of the shiny papery crust, i got a dull cookie like crust that seemed to form a dome above the cookie. I think the crust must have risen in the oven while the rest of the brownies stayed. This dome cracks when i slice through the brownies.

Also, all that undissolved sugar also seemed to settle at the base of the brownies, thus forming another sugary crust.

So unless i must have somehow mis-understood, or mis-executed the recipe. I guess this is not the brownie i would fall back on.

So, Martha Stewart, while your recipes usually rock my world, this one, unfortunately barely caused a tremor.

Still a big fan though.

XOXO

Click here to find out more!

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Taken from Marthastewart.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan or heatproof glass dish. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Set aside. Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water; stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted, about 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat; let cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and salt.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Bake until cake tester inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Run a knife or offset spatula around the edges of the pan. Using parchment, lift brownies out of pan and onto the rack. Transfer to a cutting board; cut into 2-inch squares.

 

 

 

Chocolate Caramel Cream Pie

March 27, 2011 19 comments

Let’s face it. I am not good with chilled desserts. There is just something about “Refrigerate until filling is chilled and firm” that i can’t seem to abide. I am terribly when it comes to that part of the recipe, constantly snooping into the refrigerator and poking my nosey finger into the dessert to see if it is “firm”.

And this is just one of those desserts.

A silken chocolate pie.

I guess i only have myself to blame. I could have the most elegant looking slice of pie, prim and proper with the neatest cut. But instead i got this slipshod.

But just as Joe is sloppily delicious, so is this pie.

Being used to chocolate pies with rich chocolate ganache filling, this pie was new to me.

For one, the filling was light and super soft.

It was like a cross between a pudding and a custard. The texture of the filling was silken and smooth. If you are familiar with the Asian silken tofu, this is it, but slightly softer and less set. Eating this pie is like eating a cookies (the crust) dipped in soft serve ice cream (filling), hmm, that does sound good, doesnt it?

And as if that wasn’t enough, this pie has got another trick up its sleeves, because over the satiny, barely set custard, was a generous dollop of caramel infused whipped cream

With its pallid colour, i know i am probably not convincing anyone of its caramell-y goodness. I guess that’s what happens when you pour a liliputan bowl of caramel into a sea of whipped cream, and moreover, my caramel was a strong amber colour.

But trust me, while the whipped cream was laxing in colour, it did make up in flavour. The caramel taste was definitely tasteable and frankly speaking i wouldn’t have this any other way. A strong caramel whipped cream would probably overshadow the chocolate filling.

So there you have it,  soft, creamy chocolate filling topped with pale but delicious caramel whipped cream.

But what about the crust?

Well… this is akward, but really, the crust was just like a hamburger box to a hamburger. It served the pie well by walling up the wonderful content, but i really wouldn’t miss this crust if the filling was served on a bowl instead.

So if you have chocolate pie on your craving list, but have chocolate on your “say no to” diet list, this is definitely for you. With only 110 grams of chocolate and a couple of egg yolks, this pie is definitely less evil than its ganachey , full-on chocolate  counterpart (Not that i don’t love them though)!

Chocolate-Caramel Cream Pie

Taken from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for surface
  • Chocolate Pate Sucree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent to 70 percent cacao), finely chopped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Caramel Whipped Cream
  • 1 thick block bittersweet chocolate, room temperature, for garnish

Directions

  1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll pate sucree to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under dough so edges are flush with rim, and crimp edges. Lightly prick bottom of dough with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line dough with parchment, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges begin to look dry, 20 to 22 minutes. Carefully remove weights and parchment. Bake until crust is darker around edges and bottom looks dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Chocolate crust can be stored overnight.)
  3. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Heat milk and chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts.
  4. Whisk 1 cup hot milk mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Whisk milk-sugar mixture into the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, 4 to 5 minutes total (about 2 minutes after it comes to a boil).
  5. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Pour in milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it just begins to bubble, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Let custard cool in saucepan on a wire rack, whisking occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  7. Pour custard into chocolate crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until custard filling is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  8. Spread caramel whipped cream over pie. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape chocolate block at a 45-degree angle to make a small mound of shavings, and sprinkle over whipped cream. Serve immediately, or refrigerate and serve within 2 hours.

Caramel Whipped Cream

Taken from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
  • Directions

  • Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar, water, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • Cook, without stirring, until mixture is amber. (Do not let caramel burn.) Carefully pour in 1/2 cup cream in a slow, steady stream down the side of the saucepan, whisking constantly, until smooth (caramel will bubble).
  • Remove from heat, and place saucepan in ice-water bath. Let caramel mixture cool, stirring occasionally, until cold, about 20 minutes.
  • Whisk remaining 3/4 cup cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Gently fold caramel mixture into whipped cream, and whisk until stiff peaks form. Use immediately.
  • Cook’s Note

    The caramel mixture must be very cold before the whipped cream is folded in. Otherwise, the whipped cream will collapse.

    Lemon Bundt Cake

    March 18, 2011 15 comments

    I am quite the oddball in the family. As a kid, my popsicles are always in alternating shades of red (strawberry) and orange. This is a deviation from the family’s standard of dark brown , chocolate popsicles.

    I caved in once, and conformed to the norm, and immediately regretted my decision as i took my first bite. I was missing the bright, refreshing, and tangy flavours of my fruit based pops! And from then on, i’ve nevered wandered, and always stood tall and proud with my vibrant coloured treat admist its dull coloured counterparts.

    So fast forward to present day, one of my favourite things to do in baking is to zest lemon peel. I love inhaling the citrus smell of that squirt of fresh juice as i pressed my zester against the skin of the lemon. Juicing lemon juice is pretty fun too. I lean my weight against the juicer to exert the maximum pressure to wring out every last drop of lemon juice.

    And that brings about today’s choice of baking, the lemon bundt cake.

    And whilst the cake baked away in the oven, i settled myself with a morning warm lemon tea 🙂

    And when it comes to bundt cake, i know exactly where to seek my recipe from. The food librarian with her series of “ I like Big Bundts”  has a very comprehensive library when it comes to bundts. The original recipe (from Martha Stewart) called for Meyer Lemons. I’ve never seen a Meyer Lemon in Jakarta before, so regular ones will have to do for this.

    Ah, the glaze, the citrus flavours of the bundt cake came mainly from the glaze. The cake batter only had lemon zest in it while the glaze had both lemon zest and juice.  As you would have guessed, the glaze was both sweet and tangy, and would totally zest your mornings into fanci-ness.

    And of course the mandatory circus work of pouring glaze and taking pictures with my favourite two hands, which leads to some unevenes in the division of glaze across the whole cake surface

    I am cutting myself a slice from the part of the cake with MORE glaze of course, and shall save the slices with the trickly glaze to the dieters.

    The cake was baked to a perfect golden brown, texture wise, it is rather dense, and not fluffy soft. I think i might have overbaked it, cause the edges became quite crispy and cookie like. And i think i enjoyed picking at these crisp crumbs more than i did the cake!

    A cup of lemon tea and a slice of lemon cake for a Friday breakfast!

    Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

    (Recipe taken from Martha Stewart)

    Ingredients

    Makes 2 loaves

     I made 1/2 the recipe and baked it in 10-cup Bundt cake pan.
    Ingredients

    • FOR THE CAKE
    • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    • 4 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for pans
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 2 3/4 cups sugar
    • 8 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 cup milk, room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
    • FOR THE GLAZE
    • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
    • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if needed
    • 1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans and set aside.
    2. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder two times and set aside.
    3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy.
    4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Stir only until thoroughly blended. Gently fold in the zest.
    5. Pour batter into the prepared pans and level tops with an offset spatula. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan about 10 minutes; then remove to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
    6. Make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk all glaze ingredients to combine. If necessary, add additional confectioners’ sugar to desired consistency.
    7. Pour glaze on top of cakes and serve.