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Posts for May 19th 2011
Brownies are one of my all-time favorite desserts. Although they're not as celebratory as a layer cake or as glamorous as profiteroles or as elegant as crème brûlée, there's something about brownies that makes them special. A square of rich chocolate brownie that melts in your mouth is sheer perfection!
I love trying out different brownie recipes, and my current obsession is this method from Nick Malgieri's Bake! In terms of brownie recipes, it's on the more complicated side: the batter has to be mixed for 10 minutes. However, the extra effort is rewarding — the resulting brownies are amazing.
They have a wonderful cracked top, fudgey melt-in-your mouth center, and crumbly sugary texture. Growing up, my dad always added half a bag of chocolate chips to his brownie batter, so now I do the same. The extra chocolate makes these brownies that much more delectable! You gotta bake them. Here's the recipe.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
8 ounces premium unsweetened chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)
One 9x13x2-inch pan lined with buttered foil
- Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let the butter get hot and start to sizzle after it's melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate all at once. Gently shake the pan to submerge all the chocolate in the butter. Set aside.
- Combine the eggs, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. First whisk by hand to mix. Whisk in the sugar by hand.
- Whip on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, until very light.
- Whisk the butter and chocolate smooth and scrape into the mixer bowl. Whip on the lowest speed just until smooth, then stop the mixer.
- Sift the flour onto a piece of paper, bend the paper, and slide the flour into the bowl. Mix again on lowest speed until the flour is absorbed — no longer.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give a final mixing to the batter.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake the brownies until they are firm, but not dry, and the point of a paring knife inserted in the center of the pan emerges with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 35 minutes.
- Cool in a pan on a rack. Unmold the brownies to a cutting board and remove the pan and paper. Cover with another board and invert the whole stack. Remove the top board and wrap the brownies on their board in a double thickness of plastic wrap. Keep the brownies at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight before cutting. Use a ruler to mark, then cut the brownies into 2-inch squares. To serve, pile the brownies on a platter.
Makes 24 square brownies.
To Store: If you don't intend to serve the brownies all at once, only cut what you need; the whole slab will keep better wrapped in the refrigerator. Individual brownies tend to dry out quickly if they are not wrapped in plastic.
- Desserts, Brownies
- North American
Katie's creative strawberry, balsamic, and black pepper cocktail was a great reminder that strawberries aren't just for shortcake; there are plenty of different ways to make the most of the fruit's floral, sweet-tart quality, from strawberry-thyme panna cotta to tequila infusions, and even strawberry spaghetti! Now that strawberries are at their peak, what's your favorite way to work with them, besides eating them straight out of hand?
Though the terms "smoked salmon" and "lox" are used interchangeably, they're in fact, not quite the same thing. Real lox (also called belly lox) refers to the midsection of a salmon that's simply been cured in a salt brine; consequently, it possesses a saltier flavor than what many of us associate with smoked salmon.
Part of the confusion arises from the use of the term "Nova lox" or "Nova salmon," which originally referred to the lightly cured and cold-smoked salmon that hailed from Nova Scotia.
Today, smoked salmon is often prepared using wild and farm-raised salmon from both the Atlantic as well as the Pacific — and modern-day usage of the term has further blurred the distinction between lox, Nova lox, and smoked salmon. Did you know the distinction between the two?
Source: Flickr User jeredb
In an interesting turn of events, Starbucks has announced a new partnership with pop star Lady Gaga. On May 23, to celebrate the release of her new album, Born This Way, Lady Gaga is taking over the Starbucks Digital Network.
There will be a series of contests and giveaways along with a puzzle-inspired digital game that you can start playing right this moment! Gaga fans can also download her songs and listen to a special edition of Born This Way.
Of the risky partnership, Starbucks chief marketing officer said, "Born This Way is a worldwide cultural event. Starbucks is excited to be one of the iconic partners to celebrate the album's release in an innovative way." Since I'm a huge Lady Gaga lover, I'll definitely be listening come next Monday. What do you think of the Gaga-Starbucks connection?
Now that you know some fun facts about eggs, it's time to cook with them! Eggs are a crucial element in an endless amount of dishes, from breakfast to baked goods. However, there are certain methods of preparing eggs that can be used over and over again. Here they are: 10 classic egg dishes that every home cook should learn how to make.
Despite growing up on sandwiches made from tuna canned in water, these days, my preferences tend toward tuna canned in oil. Why? Because water-packed tuna is so dry and devoid of fat that I find myself reaching for grease-laden mayonnaise anyway — so I prefer tuna that's already tasty in its own right. In my opinion, the best canned fish comes from European companies such as Tonnino and Matiz. Which would you rather eat?
Source: Flickr User jules:stonesoup