Flashback Friday – Stamina

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 8/21/08 at Exit 51.

Stamina

I have decided that it’s a good thing that I was born after the Industrial Revolution.  Because quite honestly, I am not a strong enough person to have lived without modern comforts and conveniences. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Stamina”

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Killer Chocolate Sauce

Did you happen to notice in the picture of the Mini Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecake that the serving plate was gently kissed with chocolate sauce?  No?  Click that link above and take a look.  There, did you see it in the corners?  That, my friends, is Killer Chocolate Sauce.  What the picture didn’t show is how we spooned that sauce on the top of our cheesecakes for a D4T Double Threat.  Ok, maybe it was more like piled on top.

And that chocolate streaked dish up there?  That’s what happens when you leave a batch of Killer Chocolate Sauce on the table and three good friends spend an hour, or two, dipping spoons, forks, and fingers in for just one more taste.  That’s all that was left. Do you need any more evidence that this is some seriously good stuff?  I can sum it up in two little words – Abby Dodge.

You’ve heard me talk about Abby here.  Or if you’re new to BAH thanks for stopping by and you should ask the Googly about Abby.  This is another Desserts 4 Today recipe with which you need to acquaint yourself…stat.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I can get just one more taste out of that bowl before it hits the dishwasher.

Killer Chocolate Sauce

Adapted from Desserts 4 Today by Abby Dodge

BAH Note: I scaled the recipe down by half because exposure to mass quantities of Killer Chocolate Sauce is hazardous to my relationship with the skinnier jeans.  I call this 3 Minute Killer Chocolate Sauce because that’s how quick it is to make…just in case you needed still one more reason why this recipe rocks.

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Combine the chocolate, butter, and corn syrup in a small nonstick sauce pan.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted.  Whisk until the sauce is completely smooth.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  If the sauce sets up and thickens, or if you cover and refrigerate it, reheat it in the microwave in 30 second intervals on low power.

{printable recipe}

Alice’s Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

You’ve survived Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s is just around the corner.  If food had a triathalon, it would be these three holidays.  I feel like I do more eating in these five weeks than I do all year.  Or maybe it’s just that I indulge in more of the things that I try and moderate the rest of the year like butter, sugar, flour, and eggs.  But even I get to the point where I’m cupcaked out and looking for some balance.

This bowl of balance comes courtesy of Alice at Savory Sweet Life.  It had been up on her blog all year without me knowing it.  I only discovered it when she posted it over at the PBS Kitchen Explorers blog.  Yes y’all, I get some of my recipes from a site targeting cooking with your kids.  Here’s why, if it’s easy enough to make with a child, it has to be a pretty foolproof recipe.  At the end of the day, I want to get dinner on the table before I run out of steam.  Hence, recipes that are easy enough to make with a child are perfect for my weeknight dinners.  Can you argue with that logic?

Even if you choose to argue the validity of my logic, once you taste Chicken Coconut Curry Soup, you won’t want to.  Curry paste + coconut milk + veg + leftover chicken is a recipe for creamy, spicy success.  Add some fish sauce for a bit of salty balance.  Or not.  It’s completely up to you.

I can’t promise that Chicken Coconut Curry Soup will undo all the cake, cookie, and eggnog damage.  But maybe if you enjoy a nice big bowl of this before heading out to the last Holiday Triathalon event of 2010, you won’t be as inclined to reach for those extra cookies at the New Year’s Eve party.

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

Adapted from Alice of Savory Sweet Life and PBS Kitchen Explorers

BAH Note: I used light coconut milk but I would bet good money that using regular coconut milk would result in a luscious, rich soup.  Alice adds cooked rice to her soup.  If you happen to have some handy, why not.  I think I used one cooked chicken breast which may or may not have yielded exactly one cup of meat.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 onion,  finely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chicken meat, shredded or cubed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan set over medium heat and cook the onions and carrots for approximately 5 minutes.  Add the curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce and cook another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the curry paste is completely incorporated.  Add the chicken, chicken broth, and coconut milk to the pan stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro and a squirt of lime juice.

{printable recipe}

Flashback Friday – Mission Impossible

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 8/20/08 at Exit 51.

Mission Impossible

The beauty of South Beach Phase 2 is that you get to reintroduce foods that were to be avoided during Phase 1.  Sounds easy enough, right?  The catch is that you aren’t getting an even swap.  That cereal we munched on in the days before South Beach?  That’s gone.  Instead of Raisin Bran, you get something that’s high fiber but low sugar.  And that can take some sleuthing out. I found this out the hard way. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Mission Impossible”

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

I know that the blogosphere is jam packed with every imaginable treat this time of year.  Bloggers have never made butter, sugar, and eggs look so damn good.  So I apologize in advance for the gratuitous posting of this Weapon of (M)ass Destruction.  But stick with me.  Because I don’t want you to make Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes right now.  No.  I want you to wait until after the holidays when all the blogs are posting lighter, healthier recipes for the New Year.

Deep in the heart of January or February when you can’t look at another recipe extolling the praises of kale or chard, when it’s too cold for you to venture out and it’s too cold for rational people to come to you, that’s when you pull out this gem.  In those dark days when you’re all alone with the Lifetime Movie Marathon, Mini Chocolate Cheesecake will be your friend.  Your velvety chocolate, light as a dream friend.

You’re welcome.

Mini Bittersweet Chocolate Cheesecakes

Adapted from Desserts 4 Today by Abby Dodge

BAH Note: I chose to add some of the optional flavorings to the basic recipe.  If you want to strip it down, omit the orange zest, vanilla, and espresso powder.  According to D4T, this recipe serves six.  I say that what you do with those six servings is between you and your conscience.  Those dark days of winter can be a lonely place. Just in case you want to get a jump start and have some of these stashed away, Abby says that these can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 orange, approximately 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder

Heat your oven to 300 degrees, line a muffin tin with  6 foil baking cups leaving the rest of the tin empty, and spray the liners lightly with cooking spray.

Place the chocolate and espresso powder in a small bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals on low power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted.  Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, orange zest, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer for approximately 2 minutes or until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Add the sugar and melted chocolate and beat on medium low for about a minute or until blended, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Add the egg and mix until just incorporated.  Use a spatula to give the batter one or two final folds to make sure all ingredients are mixed.

Spoon the better into the foil liners and use the back of a spoon to smooth out the tops.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the centers of the cheesecakes barely wobble when you move the pan.  Set the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.

{printable recipe}

Give It Away Winner

According to the True Random Number Generator at Random.org, Missmobtown is the winner of my Cookwise give away.  I don’t know if she’ll be getting the Pyrex bowls she spotted on Etsy, but I know she will be making the acquaintance of one Shirley Corriher.

Congrats hon!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Crispy Magic Buttercream

I feel like I need to break up with Google Reader and Twitter.  Because without fail, I find something new that I just “have” to make every single day.  Usually, the recipes that elicit this urgent call to action involve butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.  At the rate I’m going, I’m going to regain those 40 pounds plus a few more without much trouble.  Especially when there’s Crispy Magic Buttercream.

Now, I fully stand behind Abby Dodge’s Emergency Cupcakes and Marshmallow Buttercream.  I am confident that those two recipes will get you out of a last minute baking jam each and every time.  But if you find yourself with just a wee bit more time to work with before the (baked) goods are due, I suggest you experiment with these unconventional cupcakes and cooked frosting.

Here’s what grabbed my interest about the recipe, there is no creaming butter and sugar.  Nope, the butter and sugar get melted in a double boiler along with some water.  That gets used to melt the cocoa powder and unsweetened chocolate to make a flavorful pudding base for the cupcakes. Then once you combine the wet and dry ingredients, you let the batter sit for an hour.  It gets big and puffy and it really sets up.  I had never seen that method before. But it worked beautifully.

And I had to know what was so special about the magic frosting.  There may have also been an urgent desire to use the fancy new frosting tips I had bought.  Regardless of the why I made them, I made them.  And I’m here to tell you that you might want to consider working this into your upcoming plans.

The cupcakes are rich and moist and full of chocolate flavor.  And the Crispy Magic Buttercream?  Out of this world.  There’s just a hint of sugary crunch that develops  over time in the final frosting that is an unexpected surprise.  Ok, maybe not so much of a surprise to you now that I’ve gone and told you.  It avoids being overly sweet while it fully embraces buttery richness.  If you never believed in magic before, this frosting may just change your mind.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Flour as seen on If You Give A Girl A Cookie

BAH Note: The recipe I worked from didn’t give any information about how many cupcakes the recipe would yield.  I was able to get one dozen full size cupcakes and one dozen mini cupcakes out of a batch of batter.  Perhaps if I had filled my muffin cups more, I wouldn’t have had any leftover batter to begin with.  Mini cupcakes should be done after about 12 to 15 minutes of baking.

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk (save the white for the frosting)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and cocoa powder. In a small saucepan, cook the sugar, butter, and water over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves completely. Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate-cocoa mixture and whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.  Add this into the chocolate mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until completely combined.  Let the batter sit at room temperature for one hour.  The liquid will be completely absorbed into the batter and it will thicken up.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin.  Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed with a fingertip. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before frosting.

{printable recipe}

 

Crispy Magic Buttercream

Adapted from Flour as seen on If You Give A Girl A Cookie

BAH Note: I halved the frosting recipe below because the idea of having a ton of it leftover conflicted with my enjoyment of wearing my skinnier jeans.  In hindsight, it would have been better to have a little more frosting because the half batch was barely just enough, which may mean that I was sucking frosting out of my piping tips before I dropped them into the dish water.  Try this frosting and then tell me that you wouldn’t have done that too.

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened, cut into chunks
  • 1 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl over simmering water in a saucepan and heat, whisking occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture registers 160 degrees. It will thin out and turn white as the sugar melts.

Transfer the cooked liquid to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed for 6-8 minutes,  reduce the speed to medium, add the butter a few pieces at a time, and continue to beat for another 5 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is completely smooth and holds its shape.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a round or star tip.  Or simple apply the frosting with a spatula.  Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.

{printable recipe}