Sunday, May 29, 2011
Alice Medrich’s New Classic Brownies
recipe from Matt Bites
(visit Baked Bree for step by step photos!)
- makes one 8 inch square METAL* baking pan
1 stick of butter
4 ounces unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
2/3 chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Line the metal baking pan with foil or parchment so that it comes up all four sides.
3. Over the double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Stir to mix.
4. With a spatula or wooden spoon, mix in the sugar, vanilla and salt.
5. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure the first egg is completely incorporated before you add the second.
6. Mix in the flour. Stir for one minute. The mixture will be ready when it starts to pull from the sides of the bowl.
7. Stir in the chopped nuts.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges pull away from the pan.
**9. Before the brownies are ready to come out of the oven, fill a pan larger than the 8 inch pan with ice and cold water. Take the brownies from the oven and put them in this ice bath. Be careful not to splash. Let them cool completely.
10. Cut into squares and enjoy.
The ice bath is intriguing. Not sure if it makes any difference if I hadn't go through that step.
The brownies were just alright to me. Nothing out of the ordinary. I think I prefer brownies mix over these. These were missing the crunchy crust I especially like. :X
Would I try making these again? Probably not.
Taste: 3 stars out of 5
Texture: 2.5 stars out of 5
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Coconut Butter Cookies
recipe adapted from Dodol Mochi
- makes about 15-17 cookies
100 g cake flour – sifted once
10 g cornstarch – sifted once
20 g coconut cream powder – sifted once (or desiccated coconut)
75 g unsalted butter – softened at room temperature
40 g powdered sugar – sifted once
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Whisk (A) together thoroughly, then set aside for use later.
2. Place (B) into a medium-sized mixing bowl, then blend the ingredients together slightly with help from a rubber spatula. Now, with an electric hand mixer, cream them up on high speed till pale and fluffy (i.e. buttercream-like consistency).
3. With a rubber spatula or sturdy (wooden) spoon, gradually fold to mix the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, in two or three batches, till a dough has just formed – DON’T overwork the dough as you may risk getting tough cookies in the end.
4. Wrap the dough up in plastic film, then let it chill and rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
5. Remove the dough from the fridge. Then, scoop out 15 grams of dough for each cookie and roll it into a ball. Place the shaped cookie dough on parchment-lined baking sheet(s), leaving about 4 centimeters apart in between the cookies. The dough will spread during baking. Repeat till the dough is used up.
6. First, bake at 160°C or 325F for about 25 minutes. After that, turn off the oven and leave the cookies inside, with the oven door shut, for about 10 minutes.
7. Remove the cookies from the oven, and transfer them to cooling rack(s) to let cool completely before serving and/or storing in airtight container(s).
I am so glad I found this recipe! These cookies remind me so much of my FAVORITE DANISH BUTTER COOKIES : D! Totally the type of melt- in- your- mouth cookies. Perfect taste. Perfect texture! A slight hint of coconut and loads of buttery goodness. They crumble only as you bite into them.
I actually made these a few times already. Consistently great delicious cookies.. However, the dough varied a bit each time. The last couple times, my dough was really dry and flaky.. making it really hard to form the balls. But I improvised! I just dabbed a teeny bit of water and loosely formed round shaped objects. They turned out nicely. I am thinking maybe precise measurement is needed for this recipe? Like the .. butter to flour ratio? Anyways, this recipe seems like it's almost fool- proofed. No matter how dry the dough was, the cookies came out perfect!
Taste: 5 stars out of 5
Texture: 5 stars out of 5
AROMA: 5 stars out of 5 : D
Friday, May 27, 2011
Green Tea Mochi Cakes
recipe adapted from My Buttery Fingers
-makes around 12 regular or 24 mini cupcakes
220g Thai glutinous rice flour (or mochiko)
5g matcha (green tea) powder
80g unsalted butter, melted
187g evaporated milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour a cupcake pan.
2. Sift the Thai glutinous rice flour, matcha and baking powder together.
3. In an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Fold in the melted butter, then the evaporated milk. Fold in the dry ingredients.
4. Split the batter between 12 cupcake holes, using around 1/4 cup per cake (or 1/8 cup for the 24 minis).
*Throw on some sesame seeds or almond slices for some extra goodness
5. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack, then remove from the pan.
I love mochi.. so NO DOUBT I LOVE THESE MOCHI CAKES too. I was.. drooling just from hearing the name. If you are into that soft, moist and slightly chewy texture, you should not miss out on this! To those fellow mochi lovers, look what I found recently: MOCHI DONUTS! I am definitely making these once I invest on a donut pan :p They look so adorable! Almost like the felt play food.
Back to these green tea mochi cupcakes -> YUM YUM YUM. I highly suggest eating these warm from the oven, the crust is slightly crunchy and the inside is just oh-so-moist. Do not line the cupcake pan or else you won't get the best part- the crust!
They are also great after a day or two. The crunch is definitely not there but they are more chewy. It's a totally new experience. Haha( : They are great no matter what.
Taste: 5 stars out of 5
Texture: 5 stars out of 5
Thursday, May 26, 2011
recipe adapted from David Lebovitz
- makes about 30 bite size puffs
1/2 cup (125ml) water
3 tablespoons (40g) butter, salted or unsalted, cut into cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
big pinch of chile powder, or a few turns of freshly-ground black pepper*
1/2 cup (70g) flour
2 large eggs
12 chives, finely-minced (or 1 to 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme)**
3/4 cup (about 3 ounces, 90g) grated cheese***
*I used a Louisana Hot& Spicy dip mix in place of the chile powder :p
**Substituted with scallion
***Used shredded cheddar
1. Preheat the oven to 425F (220C.) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. Heat the water, butter, salt, and chile or pepper in a saucepan until the butter is melted.
3. Dump in the flour all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture pulls away from the sides into a smooth ball. Remove from heat and let rest two minutes.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring quickly to make sure the eggs don’t ‘cook.’ The batter will first appear lumpy, but after a minute or so, it will smooth out. (You can transfer the mixture to a bowl before adding to eggs to cool the dough, or do this step in a food processor or electric mixer, if you wish.)
5. Add about 3/4s of the grated cheese and the chives, and stir until well-mixed.
6. Scrape the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a wide plain tip and pipe the dough into mounds, evenly-spaced apart, making each about the size of a small cherry tomato. (Or simply use two spoons to portion and drop the dough onto the baking sheet)
7. Top each puff with a bit of the remaining cheese, the pop the baking sheet in the oven.
8. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375F (190C) and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re completely golden brown.
-For extra-crispy puffs, five minutes before they’re done, poke the side of each puff with a sharp knife to release the steam, and return to the oven to finish baking.
After reading through a couple blogs and going through a bunch of recipes, I decided on Lebovitz's. Don't exactly remember why. (Here's another one that I was looking at- from Saveur)
Anyways, they came out looking and smelling so good! Mine didn't come out too flavorful probably because I got lazy and just substituted most of the ingredients with what I had at home. And yeah, I think the type of cheese is crucial. I used a generic brand shredded cheddar that I had left over. And honestly, the cheesiness wasn't prominent at all. The crisp it gave the puff was nice though. Next time, I will definitely use the chile powder instead of the mix I had.
And also the inside of my puffs were not hollow enough? It was a little soggy.
Taste: 2.5 stars out of 5
Texture 2 stars + 1 star for the crisp out of 5