Sunday, 4 December 2011

Recipe 66 - Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

It's her turn to choose the recipe this week. She picked this but asked me to put it up here for her. I think she was a little too drunk to be able to see the keys and do it herself.

This recipe is another David Lebovitz one.

We'll need

225 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150 g granulated sugar
200 g packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
245 g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
175 g old –fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
240 g raisins

Saturday, 3 December 2011

His results - Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is pretty famous I guess. It certainly gets mentioned a lot. Sometimes well regarded recipes like this turn out to be a little bit of a disappointment when you make them yourself. The notoriety seems a little undeserved. Not in this case though.

These were really wonderful cookies. I didn't manage to get a good picture of the finished product sadly. I ate a good proportion of the dough raw and then manage to destroy most of the finished cookes before I took a picture of a baked one. By the time I took this I was down to a single cookie and I wanted to eat it right then. Fancy photography be damned. I wanted a cookie right then.

These are awesome. Bake them now!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Her Results - Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's possible that there's nothing better than a really good, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie. Joyfully, this recipe produces precisely that.

The recipe called for “bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves”. I’ll be honest, I was too lazy to go to Whole Foods to buy them. Instead I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips, which fortuitously turned out to be rounder and flatter than typical chocolate chips.

I’m fairly sure that it was the mixture of cake and bread flours that contributed to these cookies’ wonderful, chewy consistency. I am not a fan of cakey cookies, and these weren’t cakey in the slightest. And fresh out of the oven, they were ooey gooey heaven!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Recipe 65 - Jacques Torres' Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm ill :(

I've not really got to do anything today other than sit around in a blanket feeling sorry for myself. If I'm well enough to bake tomorrow I think cookies are what will be required to put me on the path to health. This is a very well regarded recipe.

We'll need:

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons

(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

And ideally a 24 hour chill after making the dough.

His Results - Coconut-Chocolate Patties

These are, as She said, incredibly easy to make.

And they were pretty good too. I didn't put any almond extract in but perhaps I should have done. I think they needed a little something. Perhaps a pinch of salt. They were pretty tasty as they were though!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Her Results - Coconut-Chocolate Patties

Calling all fans of chocolate and coconut! Give these coconut-chocolate patties a try if you're looking for a new item to add to tins of homemade holiday treats or something sweet to nibble on next time you invite friends over to watch TV.

The recipe is so simple - just toast coconut, melt chocolate, and stir it all together with a few drops of almond extract. Spoon patties onto a lined baking sheet, chill and serve. It doesn't get much easier than this.

If you want to use a whole bag of coconut (2 2/3 cups), increase the chocolate to 6 2/3 ounces and the almond extract to 5 drops. I scaled it up and I was happy I did!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Recipe 64 - Coconut-Chocolate Patties

I hope these Coconut-Chocolate Patties are delicious. We'll need:

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3 drops pure almond extract
3 3/4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Her Results - Ginger Biscuits

My ginger biscuits were alright but not overly delicious. There are several things about this recipe that I didn't fully understand. If you're reading this and you have insight, please leave a comment. First, the recipe says, "Put the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan and bring up to heat melting the butter and allowing the mixture to amalgamate." What does amalgamate mean? I thought maybe the mixture should become homogenous, but on His advice I just waited until the butter was melted and the mixture was hot and wet. This left crunchy crumbs of sugar inside the finished cookies. On another note, I don't understand the effect of mixing the butter and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients and THEN adding the egg. Don't I normally mix the egg into the sugar before the dry stuff goes in? I have no idea anymore... I'm really tired and have gotten too lazy to look it up.
Here are some pictures of the process:

Like a fool I didn't get a pic of the finished product. They were very puffy and domed, thanks to my rounded dough balls. That left them very chewy. If I were to ever remake these I would make them flatter. I probably won't ever remake them, though. There were pretty good but not amazing. I was a little short on ginger, and the other flavors did not pick up the slack.

Friday, 28 October 2011

His Results - Ginger Biscuits

She bought me this awesome saucepan. I have a lot of nice stuff in my kitchen but this may be the nicest. Making the batter was very straightforward. When it came to adding the ginger I decided to forgo measuring and just dumped in a pretty large pile.

I must have added just the perfect amount. More than the recipe called for certainly but the's great since I love ginger.

They turned out really well. A bit chewy, nice and moist and fantastically gingery. I handed some round to a few folk and they were very keen on them. Loads of compliments. I'd certainly recommend the recipe.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Recipe 63 - Ginger Biscuits

You can't go wrong with a ginger recipe can you?
I chose this recipe for ginger biscuits.

We'll be needing:

100g butter
1tbsp golden syrup
2oo g demerera sugar
300 g flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate soda
3tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1 egg beaten

I'll probably pop a little extra ginger in in some form too.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Her Results - Green Apple Cake

I really need to resume halving my recipes whenever possible. The last thing I need is 9" x 13" of cake. I'm going to make an effort to keep that in mind.

Aside from having way too much cake, I was really satisfied with this recipe for Green Apple Cake. I hadn't noticed when I chose it, but it's healthier than a lot of recipes. The apples replace quite a bit of the fat that would typically be found in a cake and the lack of frosting keeps the cake closer to the healthy-zone, without any loss of deliciousness.

We don't usually make really decadent desserts, but I just spent an hour browsing our old blog entries and dang - that's a lot of calories!

I personally love desserts the incorporate fruit and spices. If you feel the same way, you should try out this recipe. Watch the baking time - I cooked mine for at least 10 minutes less than prescribed and it was already a little overdone.

Otherwise, great recipe! I suggest serving it on the day you bake it because it got more moist and sticky as each day passed, but not necessarily in a good way if you ask me.

His Results - Green Apple Cakes

A colleague of mine has an apple tree or two in his garden. He brought some of the bounty in to work for me last year and did so again last week.

I enjoy the challenge of trying to keep the apple peel in one piece when I peel them by hand with a knife. I did pretty well with this lot.

It was dead easy to make this cake. In the recipe it said to put it in a buttered pyrex dish. I'd suggest you line it with baking paper though since mine stuck a little.

This was honestly one of my favourite cakes I've made as part of his little project. It was the texture and moistness that really pushed it over the edge into being extraordinary. The flavour was great too but the super moist, sticky, light texture was knock out. I think I probably put in a lot more apple than the recipe writer intended. I also left it in reasonably big chunks, perhaps a centimeter cubed. That will have helped with the ridiculously fine texture. Try this cake gentle reader!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Recipe 62 - Green Apple Cake

It's apple season! I have two nice big Honeycrisp in my fruit basket as I type this. His colleague Martin has an apple tree in his yard and passed along a nice lot of fresh green baking apples. As fans of simple cakes, I thought we could try this one from the Champagne Bubbles blog:

Green Apple Cake
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of canola oil
2 eggs
4 green apples, peeled and diced
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of salt

Her Results - Victoria Sponge Cake

Making this recipe for Victoria Sponge Cake really brought it home to me that every choice one makes when one bakes has an effect on the outcome. Delia's recipe asked for a little more care than our usual bog standard sponge, but as a result the batter held more air and resulted in a fluffier cake.

The fluted edges of my disposable pans were sort of fun!

Victoria Sponge holds an important spot in the niche of plain, tasty cakes. I used strawberry jam in the middle, and getting a little taste of it in every bite was half the pleasure of eating it.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

His Results - Victoria Sponge Cake

Delia was as dependable as ever.

Making a victoria sponge is a little more involved than the all in one sponge recipe I mostly use. It's amazing how much difference the technique makes really because the ingredients are more or less identical.

I sandwiched the layers with seedless raspberry jam and served it with some whipped cream. It was very nice! Not the perfect victoria sponge but a nice one.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Recipe 61 - Victoria Sponge Cake

Once more we turn to football club majority owner, best selling cookery writer and fairly-old-lady Delia Smith. This week she will guide us through the making of a true british classic - victoria sponge cake. I've made it a fair bit in the past but never from this recipe. I'm assuming it's a good one.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Her Results - Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

We've let you down - I didn't get many good pictures either. I have no idea why! Maybe I'll make them again and can upload a pic of the finished product.

I really enjoyed these cookies. I love chocolate chip cookies, period, and the salted butter, dark chocolate chunks, toasted walnuts and dark brown sugar in these took them to the next level.

I overcooked mine a bit. They didn't burn, but they took on the crunchy texture of a stereotypical grocery store chocolate chip cookie. They looked like that, too; nice, uniform discs. There's no doubt that this was at least partially thanks to using the spatula to tap the top of each cookie near the end of baking. I feel like I've added another tool to my baking toolkit. :)

His Results - Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I did a pretty poor job getting photos this week.

There's even less excuse than normal since I made this twice. This is a great recipe. Super tasty and a doddle to make. I enjoyed it so much that I rustled up another batch on thursday.

I didn't get a photo of the finised, baked cookies for some reason but they were nice. I've just never found a single cookie recipe where I enjoyed the finished article more than the raw dough. Most of both batches never even made it to the oven.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Recipe 60 - Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Feeling uninspired, I visited David Lebovitz' website and within 60 seconds I found a treat that appealed to me. I'm excited to try out this recipe for Salted Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Here's what we'll need:

4 ounces (115g) salted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup packed (110g) dark or light brown sugar

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup (180g) flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or kosher salt

1 1/3 cups (200g) coarsely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1 cup toasted nuts, coarsely chopped

Her Results - Fluffy Date and Ginger Cake

Over the course of our relationship, I've developed a lot of new habits and tried a lot of new things that I probably would have never even considered doing. One of the new things that I've become keen on thanks to Him is eating dates. Since I've gotten on the kick, I've steadily convinced many of my colleagues, friends and family to try eating a date. But so far, no one has actually liked them. That's sad and it's not right! Too bad I didn't force my cake upon them, too. Perhaps they would have liked it.

Making this cake went quite well with one major exception. After I let my dates rest in hot water, I put them securely into the food processor as prescribed by the recipe, then I pressed the button to turn it on, and BAM!!! sticky brown date water rained down all over my entire kitchen. I still have no idea what happened. If you make this, watch out for that... Cleaning it up was a nightmare. Otherwise, making the cake was a snap. I decided to bake it in my bundt pan, which turned out to be a good idea.

It took precisely 40 minutes for my cake to bake, and it turned out just right. Fluffy and moist and delicious! Personally I thought it was a little light on ginger flavor. I passed this judgement only because if an ingredient is mentioned in the title of a recipeI really expect that flavor to stand out, but I'll admit that I'm probably one of the few who want her cake to have a real zing to it. The cake was really flavorful and delicious as is.

Too bad I didn't get a picture with yogurt and blackberries alongside my cake. That's how I devoured it every morning while it lasted. A delicious breakfast! This cake would be really nice with team or coffee as a morning snack.

One small note: after only a day or so, the powdered sugar atop the cake turned pale brown, ostensibly from soaking up the juices of the cake. That was unattractive, so if you're serving this to guests either serve it soon after baking or wait until you're getting ready to serve it before dusting it with powdered sugar.

Friday, 23 September 2011

His Results - Fluffy Date and Ginger Cake

Cakes with dates in always have such an awesome texture. It's kind of suprising there aren't way more recipes using fruit or veg to provide moisture. Courgette, beetroot, carrot. It's all great at making moist, delicious cakes!

It was a doddle to put this together and super tasty too.

Weird picture. I like the super low res looking shadows. This was yummy. Incredibly moist and tender and with a lovely ginger flavour. It goes onto my recommended pile. Not a knock out stellar cake but a good one for sure!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Recipe 59 - Fluffy Ginger and Date Cake

Things I love which are in the title of this recipe:
1) ginger
2) dates
3) cake

surely it'll be a winner!

Recipe is here at the ever reliable technicolor kitchen. As per usual it's helpfully already in metric.

His Results - Cherry Chocolate Brownies

I left it to the last minute to go shopping for ingredients and sadly couldn't find any cherries. Undaunted I soldiered on substituting a mixture of strawberry flavoured gummy sweets and necco wafers.

And that actually worked really well! It wasn't what it was supposed to be but it certainly was good. A crunchy, medicine tasting bite every now and then fromt he necco wafers. Chewy bite every now and then fromt he gummy sweetss. And all in a really rich, fudgy exterior.

I undercooked them a bit and I think it was probably a good thing. They were chewy and rich and delicious. No airiness or crumbliness. Pure chocolately chew. Yum!
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