Monday, April 20, 2009

Three for the Price of One

Hey everyone! Well, exam week has hit, and with it the neverending slew of last-minute reports, study sessions and cake making - wait, did I say cake making? Yeah, I've been busy covering myself in flour and sugar again, in fits of boredom and procrastination! Last week I went to my monthly lunch date with the Exxon ladies, and this particular one coincided with their plan of taking me out for my birthday - nevermind that that event was a good 3 weeks ago! A sumptuous meal of sushi rolls and green tea, with a follow-up of "devil tea" (Starbucks - it's becoming like crack, I swear!) led to all of us back at the office.

Awaiting me there was a gorgeous looking chocolate Bundt cake that Susan, one of the wonderful women in our group, had baked for me. I felt so badly that I couldn't partake in the yumminess - especially since she had used the (good) British Cadbury chocolate for the ganche glaze and put all that work into it, for me! I insisted that I would just have to live vicariously through everyone else's enjoyment of the dessert, and I think I succeeded in assauging that small dip in the day's emotions. I had actually brought in a couple goodies that day for the hard-working bees... brownie muffins made with a new flour!

Yup, instead of using traditional all-purpose, I used a recipe I had found somewhere along my journey for dense, rich brownies made with durum semolina - the same stuff made into pasta! The other secret player behind the scenes was traditional Italian olive oil. They had an earthy, fruity smell out of the oven, and not a one was left behind when my mom checked out that evening!

Semolina Brownies
Makes 16 squares (or 12 muffin-sized cakes)
1/3 c sugar
½ c unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
½ c flour
½ c semolina flour
2 eggs
½ c brown sugar
¼ c olive oil
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease bottom only of an 8” pan.
  2. In large bowl, mix sugar, cocoa, baking powder and flours; blend in eggs, brown sugar, oil and vanilla.
  3. Bake 25 minutes. Chill before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 120.4
Total Fat: 4.5 g
Cholesterol: 26.6 mg
Sodium: 11.3 mg
Total Carbs: 19.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
Protein: 2.4 g

These other two recipes were assorted gifts from a while back... the beet and banana chocolate muffins were actually given to my old Psych prof Stan (hi, Stan!) when I was performing in the Copper Chef event back in March, and mini versions of these helped fuel my team-mates during our practice run too.

Banana-Beet Chocolate Muffins
Makes 16
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Dutch - processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup oil
1 mashed banana
1 cup (dry) pulp from juiced beets
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain soy milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease or line muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
  3. In another bowl, mix together oil, banana, beet pulp, brown sugar, soy milk, vater, vanilla and vinegar.
  4. Add the dry ingregients to the wet ones and mix gently but thoroughly until just combined.
  5. Bake for 25-28 minutes, then turn out immediately and cool on a rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 111.8
Total Fat: 4.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 8.4 mg
Total Carbs: 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Protein: 1.6 g

These final brownies that you see were the result of a "free reign" bakery order placed by the office's Ms. M... basically, she asked for "brownies", and if I added anything, all the better! Most excellent - I raided the pantry and the liquor cabinet, coming up with the "triple-shot" theme. A shot of espresso, a shot of Kahlua, and always fun chocolate shot (AKA sprinkles) are never out of place in a fudgy brownie recipe, right?

Triple-Shot Brownies
Makes 16
1 cup flour, divided
1 cup water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tbsp vanilla
1 shot (1.5 fl oz) prepared espresso
1 shot (1.5 fl oz) Kahlua liqueur
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate sprinkles (AKA chocolate shot)
  1. Combine water and 1/2 cup of the AP flour in a pot and bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, until it forms a gluey paste.
  2. Let cool completely.
  3. In another bowl, mix sugars, salt, cocoa, vanilla, espresso, Kahlua and oil. Add the flour-water mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder and the chocolate shot.
  5. Spread mixture into a greased 13 x 9" pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out almost clean.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 267.2
Total Fat: 9.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 20.1 mg
Total Carbs: 45.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Protein: 3.0 g

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the browniw recipe, and good luck on exams!!!


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