Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Chewy Brownie!

The brownie has been a recipe I've struggled with ever since I started baking.  The previous brownies I've made have always been ok, as it is hard to go wrong with a chocolaty square, but I just never felt they were great (and I always sorta thought a box mix brownie was better).  I spent a few years making everything but brownies, then decided recently that I needed to finally find a decent recipe - it just seemed pathetic that I could make homemade Samoas, but not brownies.

I tried a lot of recipes, each claiming to have the trick to the chewy brownie - things like putting the tray into an ice bath straight out of the oven, adding extra egg yolks, or having the perfect ratio of oil to butter.  In fact it was the first time a cooks illustrated recipe failed me (I felt their chewy brownies were much too cakey).  I finally tried this simple recipe from King Arthur Flour cook book, just because it was different from the others, not expecting much.  I'm happy to report that this recipe is the one I've been looking for.  Not only does it make an amazing chocolaty chewy brownie - but it comes together in one pot, in 10 minutes!

Note: the original recipe actually called for whole wheat flour, but I misread that and used bread flour by mistake.  They came out great, and very (very) chewy.  Since then I have also been making it with regular flour, and they are also delicious - still chewier than cakey, but not quite as hard on your jaw.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cinnamon rolls!

There is a Cinnabon location in London, right near Picadilly Circus...  and every once in a while after a night out in town, with a pack of Americans, we find ourselves devouring Cinnabons late at night (4 for £10!).  And they are delicious.  While it may just be nostalgia for childhood sleepover parties with Cinnabons for breakfast, I think we get lured in because it reminds us of home.

I recently remembered this recipe for cinnamon rolls I had made a few years back and tried it again, inspired by the idea of home made Cinnabons.  They may not be quite identical to the original, but they are pretty delicious, and these get devoured very fast, especially fresh out of the oven.  The only draw back I've found  to them is that they don't leave you feeling as sick as a real Cinnabon does, leading me to over-consume.

One of the great things about this recipe is you can prepare it all in advance, then put it in the fridge overnight, pop it in the oven in the morning, and have amazing hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

*This recipe taught me that bread flour(US) = strong white flour (UK).

The Fudgy (chai/mocha optional) brownie

In my house chocolate is basically always an appropriate choice. Whether you are celebrating, mourning, or having a stressful or happy d...