Archives for posts with tag: Chocolate

Chocolate Brioche

I found this recipe for mini chocolate brioche several weeks ago and I had been waiting for a chance to make it ever since. On first glance the recipe seemed really involved, and since I’ve been busy getting ready for an art show, I didn’t think I had the time to make it.  So, I’ve been biding my time and dreaming of coffee and sweet bread. Last weekend, I needed a little break from all my art-makin’ and I decided it was time to treat myself to a sweet sunday breakfast.

This brioche dough needs to rise 8 to 12 hours, so you start by making the dough and then letting it rise overnight. There are a lot of steps, but since they are broken up, it turns out to take more planning than effort. The end result really is amazing, your efforts will yield a subtly sweet and tender bread with a dark chocolate center, finished off by hints of honey. I’m SO glad I found the time to make it. Seriously, I felt like a baking superstar. This recipe has definitely found a permanent spot in my cooking repertoire.

Baby Chocolate Brioche:

From: Patricia Wells At Home In Provence 

  • 1 TSP active dry yeast
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (105°F)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 TSP salt
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (I use 83% Cacao) Divided into 12
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 TBS whole milk
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • extra honey for drizzling (optional)

step one, make dough

1. Combine the warm milk, honey, and yeast and let it stand until it’s foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the olive oil, eggs and salt, and stir to blend.

3. Add the flour a little at a time, slowly mixing everything together. When the dough forms a ball, knead in the remaining flour. Knead until the the dough is soft and smooth, but still firm. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.  This step can be done in a heavy duty electric mixer if you happen to have one (I don’t).

4. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let it rise 8-12 hours.

step two, divide into 12

5. An hour before you want to bake the rolls, remove the dough from the fridge, punch it down and divide it into 12 equal portions.

step three

6. With the palm of your hand flatten each ball of dough into a disk and press in a portion of the chocolate into the center. Then reform the ball around the piece of chocolate, so that the chocolate is completely covered.

step four

7. Place the rolls on a baking sheet, and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise another 30-45 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 400°F

glaze

9. Make the glaze by beating the egg yolk, then blending in a tablespoon of milk, and a tablespoon of sugar. Brush each roll with the glaze.  (Drizzle the optional honey on the rolls if you want a little extra sweetness… which, come on, you do.)

10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are a deep golden brown.

Now, prepare yourself for a delicious and luxurious breakfast.

browniesI have a sweet tooth that is equally unpredictable and unrelenting. I can go days without wanting something sweet,  but when my sweet tooth does kick in I need a dessert and I NEED IT NOW! The worst is when it hits me late in the evening, after the stores are closed. This happened the other day but luckily I had a few ingredients in the pantry and was able to whip up a batch of brownies.

What I like most about this recipe (besides from being delicious) is its simplicity and the ease with which it comes together.  I bake fairly often, so all the ingredients are normal items I have in the house.  So there was no running out for special ingredients or doing weird substitutions. Making the batter is straightforward, too. The whole process only took about 35 minutes, including baking. Ah… instant gratification.

Mark Bittman’s Brownies:

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: add nuts or dark chocolate chips, to kick it up.

*Update: I just made these brownies again and in a moment of inspiration I added at 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. It was AWESOME. If you like a spicy-sweet combo, give this twist a try.

Step one: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 inch square baking pan.

Step two: In a sauce pan combine the chocolate and butter over low heat. Stir constantly and remove the mixture from the heat as soon as it’s melted.

Step three: Stir in the sugar and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla.
For this step you can transfer the batter to a bigger mixing bowl, but if you’re like me and want less dishes to wash, just combine all the ingredients in the pan you melted the butter and chocolate in.

Step four: Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and bake until set in the middle. Around 20-25 minutes.
brownies a la modeSweet, sweet success. Add a scoop of ice cream and a few slices of strawberry and you’ve got yourself one divine dish. These brownies would be perfect last minute dessert to bring to a pot-luck or if you’re like me and you get those awkwardly timed chocolate cravings. Midnight snacks never tasted so good. Enjoy!

This cake rocks my socks. I found the recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake over at Design*Sponge when I was searching for a cake to make for my sweetie’s birthday. The oddity of having Guinness as a main ingredient sold me on this particular recipe, but we were in for a surprise. This cake is AMAZING! It is perfectly moist and has a deep chocolatey flavor. Not to mention, the icing is basically a cheese cake. Needless to say, this cake is not for the faint of heart.

I made this cake again when I was home for the holidays and it went over well with the whole family. My mom was a little dubious when I cracked a can of Guinness while mixing the batter, but she was definitely won over in the end.  This cake has firmly cemented itself as my all time favorite dessert.

For those of you who find making a cake from scratch intimidating, I assure you this is (fairly) painless. You’re cooking with Guinness! Just crack one open for yourself after you give one to the cake.  I made this in my sparsely stocked kitchen and had to improvise on several steps. For one, I don’t have a mixer so I had to put a little extra love/elbow grease into combining the ingredients. If you don’t have a sifter, you can use two spoons to toss the flour (like a salad) in order to loosen and aerate it. To whip the cream, two forks and some love will do the trick. You can tag team this effort, whipping cream by hand is a bit of a workout. (But seriously, this cake is rich. You may as well get a little exercise  before you indulge.) My point is, you can do it! It will be well worth your effort. Enjoy!

Jump on over to Design*Sponge for the full recipe.

One of the biggest differences between living in small town North Carolina and Berkeley, California is the food. Obviously, there are huge cultural differences and the fact that I don’t have to own a car… but if you’re looking at day to day differences in how I live my life, it’s the food. My God, it’s the food. Anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am a hungry person. I probably eat 4 meals a day with a few snacks in between. My insatiable hunger is the butt of many good natured jokes and jabs from friends and family. Needless to say, food is important to me.

A little Bay Area Love for my family.

This year for Christmas, I brought home a taste of the Bay Area for my family. Freshly roasted coffee, amazing citrus, avocados, and pomegranates are all things that are hard to come across in our small home town. All of the fruit survived the journey and and everyone was excited to sample all the tasty foods. They especially loved the Satsuma Mandarin Oranges. I promised to send another package of the Satsumas after I go back.

Moving to Berkeley, the foodie capital of the world, was a huge improvement to my hungry lifestyle. The produce is varied and fresh, the restaurants are amazing, and there are Farmer’s Markets everyday of the week. I don’t know if I would call myself a foodie, there are too many snobby connotations. Okay, so maybe I’m a foodie, but only a slightly snobby one. I love good food and I love to share my culinary adventures. This blog is dedicated to my two loves, illustration and food. I hope to share good food and good art with you, my readers, my friends. Here we go!

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