Thursday, June 18, 2009

Epic Fail! Oh, and a success, too.

Not to dwell too long on failure, but gah! My first attempt at a Roasted Potato Bread flopped (figuratively and literally) with the only saving grace being that it still looks edible. Note to self: Do Not Bake In Big Pyrex Bowls. They are like vacuums on the bottom, even when greased more than a pig in a rodeo. Never been to a pig chase? Google it, and then thank whatever deity spared you from that horror.

My success partially led to my failure. Now, I'm sure you're asking, "How can you have failure out of success? Isn't it the other way around?" No, it's not, because the laws of the universe do not apply in my kitchen. I'm not sure why, but I've accepted it as a fact of my life. Things that should work don't, and things that shouldn't do, and my subscription to Murphy's Law is going strong. For whatever reason, my first attempt at bread bowls turned out picture-perfect (except for a little overbrowning on a couple, but I blame that on the oil... that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) and what did I use as the vessel of choice? You got it, a Pyrex bowl. One of the little, flat-bottomed, straight-sided round ones. No longer shall it be relegated to prep bowl status!

But where my bread bowls rose beautifully and detatched with little persuasion (read: bashing and slinging of bowl) the potato bread held on for dear life, until a butter knife and extreme prejudice tore it (literally) from its comfy home. Why, I ask you? I oiled it well. I even oiled the dough. Sure it was a stickier dough than the bread bowls, but with enough grease, I can keep burnt cheese from sticking to those baking dishes. Seriously, have you ever chiseled lasagna out of a pan? My whole kitchen used to turn blue from the language I used. But even that horror of culinary bitchfest doesn't stick, so why did my bread?!?!?!?!

I blame the imps. Pixies, brownies, leprechauns, whatever the hell you call them. The little things that run around your home creating chaos so they can laugh at you while you rip your hair out in frustration. ... why are you looking at me like I'm crazy? I'm not-- er, okay, nevermind.

Well, whatever happened, I had The Best Bread Bowls Evah! and the Roasted Potato Bread of Doom. I guess they balance out. Did I mention the recipe for the bowls came from The Fresh Loaf? Awesome site. Awesome recipe. Just plain awesome. Go visit.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Chocolate heaven... in a muffin.

I went to a theme park called Cedar Point yesterday, and needed something for my brood to gnosh on while I was gone. Mostly my other half, as he is loathe to stand in the kitchen for longer than it takes to make Ramen noodles. So I asked myself, what does he like that can sit around for a day and a half, not need reheating or cooking, and preferably doesn't need any of my (very precious) fridge space? Muffins! But what kind?

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins. You heard me, two chocolates and some nuts in a paper wrapper of heavenly goodness. So I went trolling for a good recipe. A really good one. But I couldn't find any! With the plethora of CCC (that's chocolate chocolate chip) muffin recipes on the 'net, I thought I'd find something. But every recipe I came across had to be tweaked to make it truly spectacular. So I sat down with the best one I found, read over the reviews, and put together something that turned out as yummy as anything I've ever had the pleasure of baking.

Now, I know muffins aren't bread. But they have flour and leavening, so by damn, they're getting blogged about! On to the recipe!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

  • 2 cups (8 1/2oz, 240g) all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup (2 1/8oz, 62g) cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup (5 1/2oz, 155g) white sugar

  • 3/4 cup (4 1/2oz, 128g) brown sugar *NOTE : Scoop the brown sugar, do not pack.*

  • 2 tsp (3/8oz, 10g) baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp (1/8oz, 4g) baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp (1/8oz, 5g) salt

  • 1 1/2 cups (12oz, 340g) milk

  • 2 tbsp (1oz, 28g) veggie oil

  • 1 tsp (1/8oz, 5g) vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs *NOTE : Using American Large eggs! Use roughly 3 1/2oz, 100g of eggs.*

  • 1 cup (6 3/4oz, 190g) chocolate chips

  • 1 cup (4oz, 112g) chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease or line muffin tins.

Bowl 1: Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Bowl 2: Beat together milk, oil, vanilla, and eggs.

Combine the contents of bowls 1 & 2, being careful not to overwork. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. (Toothpick test is difficult because of chocolate chips, but if muffins seem too soft and “wiggly” after 20 minutes, bake the extra 5.)

Cool in pan 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool completely.