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Dear all,
This blog is initially a place for the three people who write in it to share our thoughts on life. However, if any of our pieces benefit and interest you, we welcome you to share your thoughts on comments. Thank you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Double Chocolate Brownies

   Salam.


   Hello! Notice the new look? It took me a whole day to do this, and a lot of it spent on surfing on the internet looking for templates, how-to-dos and whatnot. Pheww!! Anyway, I don't suppose it looks as great as other people's blogs, but I guess it's ok. Besides, I stumbled on a blog that had EXACTLY the same template as ours here, so that had to go! Well, of course it's not wrong to look the same, but if you can afford to look different, why not?


   I definitely like this look better than the last one.


   Well, I was supposed to post an entry on Baking Blues a few days ago, but I forgot, so here it is. I actually made two attempts at baking something after the blondies (which I absolutely love and am definitely going to make again when I have the chance), but I'll write only about one now.


   I made a sister to blondies- brownies!


   How many kinds of brownies do you know?


   I know three. YEs, the italics were necessary.


   First, I know of the edible brownies. I'll talk about that first since that's my original intent. I used another from Martha Stewart Cookies recipe book, and it was really good. Well, I did overbake again (the oven gets really hot so easily!), but they turned out well nevertheless. If you really like chocolate, then try making this. I suppose the name is 'Double' Chocolate Brownies.


   Here's what Martha's look like:


Lovely! (Source)
   And here's, ahem, how mine look like. Excuse the picture quality- the lighting was rather bad... so you probably can't see how good they look all that well. haha....


Lovely too! Haha


   Well, they DO taste nice. Especially if you really, really like chocolaty stuff. They cooked a little too quickly, and the edges got cooked too quickly too, which was why I had the burnt edges, I guess. But I cut them off... honestly you could would have broken your teeth off if you did. What? No, I did not take any picture.


   If you notice, they have a sort of shiny coating at the top, which I had not expected to see at first, but I think they're supposed to have them. Anyway, this got good reviews from my family, haha. Alhamdulillah, I should say. The brownies are really chewy. And chocolaty. Did I mention that already?


   Anyway, you can get the recipe by clicking on 'Source' under the picture of Martha's brownies (not under mine. Joke.). Or you might just as well click here. However, there's a slight variation between the online recipe and the one in the book, so I've put the book one here:


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DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Ingredients:

6 tbsp unsalted butter + some more for pan
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350F (which is 176.67 Celcius according to Google). Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining except overhang.

 2. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir until butter and chocolate have melted. Let cool slightly.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. 
Put sugar, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale (about 4 minutes). 
Add chocolate mixture; mix until combined.
Reduce to low speed and add in flour; scrapping sides of bowl until well combined.

4. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a spatula.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid centre and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet (about 35 minutes.
Lift out; let cool slightly on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Storage:
Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.
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   I tried as much as I could to follow the recipe to the letter, but of course I couldn't. First of all, my chocolate wasn't exactly 6 ounces- I only had a small slab of chocolate on hand, so I just the whole lot in. It was probably short of a few ounces, but it didn't really affect the taste.

   The method for mixing the ingredients for both the online and the book recipe is more or less the same, but the amount of ingredients differ a bit. I've listed them below; the ones in blue are the online amounts, while the ones in pink are the book amounts:

1 cup (8 tbsp) = BUTTER = 6 tbsp 
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp = ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR = 3/4 cup
none =  BAKING POWDER = 1/4 tsp
1/2 tsp = SALT = 1/4 tsp
3 = EGGS = 2
none = VANILLA EXTRACT = 2 tsp

   I don't know how the results would be different, but I guess I'll try the online recipe next time to see. But the book recipe is quite good; just be sure to watch over your brownies as they bake, or at least take a peep now and then to make sure they don't burn. You may want to reduce the baking time and temperature, depending on your oven.
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COCOA POWDER

I also looked up what Dutch-process cocoa powder are, and how they are different from not-Dutch processed ones. Personally I just chuck in whatever is available, and I don't know it makes a difference, but maybe it does. As far as I know, what I've been using is Dutch-processed powder. I'm too lazy to write about it here, but you can read about it here. You can also Google it on the internet, it's quite interesting.
____________________________________________________________

   Well, this is a pretty long entry. I still have to tell you about the three different brownies. Here we go.

BROWNIES 1 :
(edible ones, yum2)
Brownies (Food)
"A chocolate brownie is a flat, baked square or bar introduced in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the twentieth century." (Read more about them here.)




BROWNIES 2 :
(human. and nope, not edible. No way.)
Brownies (Girl Scouts)
"A Brownie is a member of a section of some Guiding organisations for girls from their seventh birthday to their tenth birthday. Exact age limits are slightly different in each organisation. It is the female-centred equivalent of the Cub Scouts. (Read more about them here.)"




BROWNIES 3:
(not human, and certainly not edible since they don;t even exist...?)
Brownies (folklore)

"A brownie/brounie or urisk (Lowland Scots) or brùnaidh, ùruisg, or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic) is a legendary creature popular in folklorearound Scotland and England (especially the north, though more commonly hobs have this role). It is the Scottish and Northern English counterpart of the Scandinavian tomte, the Slavic domovoi and the German Heinzelmännchen." (Read more about them here.)
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   I hope this was a good post, albeit a very, very long one and certainly quite tiring to make! I plan to make something tomorrow... so pray for another entry on Baking Blues!


    Wallah'alam.

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