Archive for the Baking Category

Jamie O’s Bloomin’ Brilliant Brownies

Posted in Baking, Chocolate with tags , on June 23, 2010 by thepseudoepicurean

Chocolate brownies. You either make them, or you break them. I have seen countless recipes on the Internet, and I have tasted as many different interpretations of them as well. The thing about chocolate brownies is that they’re very much like coffee – everyone has their preferences. Some like them with nuts, others like them plain; some barely display a hint of chocolate in them, others are loaded with so much chocolate I swear my nose would bleed on the spot; these are the worst ones – floury, dry, and just plain awful.

And then there are Jamie Oliver’s Bloomin’ Brilliant Brownies, which I swear are BLOOMIN’ BRILLIANT indeed! Very much THE BOMB.

Now these brownies are loaded with everything unhealthy. For a recipe that makes approximately 20 brownies (little ones at that), it has a record-breaking 250g of butter, 300g of sugar, 200g of chocolate and 4 eggs. That makes for a LOT of fat per brownie, virtually artery-clogging stuff. But oh golly these are truly the best brownies I have ever tasted! They are moist, fudgey, the perfect degree of chocolateyness (if there is ever such a word), yet firm without being at all too crumbly.

I did have to bake it an extra 10 minutes as the mixture had barely set, but I have a feeling that my oven was to blame for that. I also realised that the brownie does firm up when cooled, so even if your test skewer came out unclean, that’s no harm done (in fact you’d probably get an even moister, fudgier end-result). Mine was very slightly on the dry side, perhaps a little too long in the oven, but I suspect the amount of fat in the mixture made up for it and yielded the most tender crumb.

I also sprinkled a little magic over the brownies before baking them – a mixture of light brown sugar, cocoa powder, and yes, fleur de sel.

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Quince and Ginger Muffins

Posted in Baking with tags , on June 22, 2010 by thepseudoepicurean

Something about these that makes me long to curl up in bed, book in one hand, muffin and Earl Grey tea in the other.

Beer and Chocolate

Posted in Baking with tags , , , on May 20, 2010 by thepseudoepicurean

Who says you can’t have it all?

Seriously, this makes for absolutely kickass chocolate cake.

Young’s Luxury Double Chocolate Stout

(image taken from th.omas)

Last night I made the most delightfully light, fluffy and moist chocolate cupcakes ever in preparation for salted caramel cupcakes (which eventually didn’t happen because I forgot to buy cream). This beer lends an incredible flavour to the cake – chocolatey, malty and slightly salty all at once. Beautiful.

The end result was a winner with all my guinea pigs in the office and it’s definitely going into my recipe keeper.

Beer+Choc cupcake with a triple-chocolate frosting and fleur de sel

Seriously?

Seriously.

Muffin Madness

Posted in Baking with tags on August 26, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

The household has been on a muffin craze of late. To date, we’ve made orange muffins, apple, oat and yoghurt ones, granola ones, chocolate ones all in a span of TWO weeks. Muffins are a dream to bake. They are fantastic when I’ve got the baking itch but feeling absolutely lazy about cleaning up. Dry ingredients. Wet ingredients. Mix them all up (although the husband gets a little complicated sometimes and decides to whip the butter and sugar together; me, I can’t be stuffed. I use olive oil and my excuse is that it’s healthier anyway). WOOHOO!

We’ve also discovered that it’s a fantastic way of finishing up all the little bits and pieces of knick knacks in our pantry (shhh, don’t tell anyone I told you!). Apples, granola, the odd remnants of oats, yoghurt, buttermilk etc…so much that we’re now even contemplating Tim Tam ones just for the heck of it.

Super Decadant Dark Chocolate Muffins

Super Decadant Dark Chocolate Muffins

One of my all-time favourite muffin recipes is Nigella’s Orange Breakfast Muffins. The ingredients are so unbelievably simple and the end result so indulgent that I would make it everyday for breakfast if only I woke up just half an hour earlier each day. I also adore her granola muffin recipe but that requires some granola and buttermilk, which I wouldn’t assume everyone would always keep in the pantry. But that shouldn’t stop anyone though; almost anything could go into a muffin I swear.

Go try it out and tell me what other muffin combinations you’ve come up with! I’m definitely excited to try!

Rosso’s New Groove

Posted in Baking with tags , , , on May 20, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

I’m back in action! I’ve finally decided to get my act together and start putting up pictures of all that Rosso and I have been up to.

I’m pleased to announce that we’ve become very well acquainted with each other, and Rosso is an absolute joy to work with. To date, we’ve already made macarons a la Duncan (which I must add had a decent result for a first attempt), a butter cake, a Cordon Rose banana cake complete with sour cream ganache, a cream cheese pound cake (so decadent and heavenly and loaded with calories but it’s worth it) and other random little cakes in between.

I used to work with my mother’s Kenwood Chef back in Singapore and loved it, but can I just say that nothing beats the whirring sound of the KitchenAid in the background while you’re sifting your flour, weighing the butter, etc!

Banana Cake Mixture

Banana Cake Mixture

Sour Cream Ganache

Sour Cream Ganache

Cordon Rose Banana Cake

Cordon Rose Banana Cake

Cordon Rose Banana Cake with Sour Cream Ganache

Cordon Rose Banana Cake with Sour Cream Ganache

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Ok that’s it for my baking post. Next up – all the cooking we’ve been doing!

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Posted in Baking, Chocolate with tags , , on March 23, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean
Chocolate Guinness Cake

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Curiosity got the better of the cat and I ended up making the chocolate Guinness cake. It turned out very well, although the taste of Guinness wasn’t as prominent as I’d have liked it to be. Nevertheless it made for a great chocolate cake – moist, dense, and sinfully fudgey.

I especially loved the cream cheese icing that was smothered over the cake. The slight tangy-sweet cloud of cream cheese+icingsugar+cream, calorie-packed as it was, seemed to soften yet highlight the intensity of chocolate in the cake (and trust me, it was VERY chocolatey).

It was at its best straight out of the oven, but I’ve had it in the fridge for the last 2 days and it is still delectably moist and fudgey even when cold.

Would I make it again? Yes I would, but only if I weren’t serving it to a group of girls on a diet. Does Nigella ever make anything healthy?

Which Chocolate Takes The Cake?

Posted in Baking, Chocolate with tags , , on March 20, 2009 by thepseudoepicurean

We’re celebrating JC’s birthday tomorrow, and I have volunteered my cake-baking expertise (or lack of) to make her a birthday cake. This is a perfect excuse to try out the treasure of chocolate cake recipes in Nigella’s Feast, but this unfortunately leaves me with another problem: which recipe should I try?

There’s the chocolate espresso cake that I made the last time (that was highly successful and a show-stealer, and is almost fail-proof), and then there’s the chocolate Guinness cake, the honey chocolate cake, etc.

I love the chocolate espresso cake for its moistness. Flavour wise, it was intense almost to the point of being dense, yet it was light and airy too (lots of eggs and only a few tablespoonfuls of flour – you do the math); at the same time the Guinness cake sounds intriguing enough to attempt, and I have read many a rave review about the cake.

So I will head home tonight and contemplate which cake my dearest JC would be getting for her birthday. That leaves me with one last consideration: how kosher is it to serve a Guinness cake at your Bible study meeting?