Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can't decide if I should make those Chocolate Cookies

To make or not to make...

These are really nice cookies, soft, chewy and chocolaty, but honestly I really don't care whether you make them or not. I like them and that's what counts. It took me about 6 minutes to mix and 10-12 minutes to cook... perfect to fix a craving... but again make them or don't make them, whatever :)

For all of you (Craig) that do not have a scale, well, too bad! splurge the $15 and buy one... or then again I don't care.

I guess if you are going to make them should probably look for those ingredients...

165 g golden brown sugar
125 g butter

1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

140 g flour
50 g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

175 g Belgian chocolate, chopped small

Since you got all the stuff, you may as well mix it all together... so start by fluffing the butter and sugar together until pale looking, kind of like if you just saw Elvis in your soup bowl.

Add the vanilla and egg, mix for 20 seconds, or 2 times 10 seconds should be ok.

Add the dry ingredients at high speed and back away cause all that stuff will fly all over the place... or just do on slow speed instead so it does not make a huge mess and the dough doesn't end up over mixed and tough. Whatever... :)

Add the chocolate using a spatula or some other ugly tool you may have!

You can bake them at 400F if you want to burn them, but it is much better at 350F in the oven for abut 10-18 minutes depending on how you like your cookies. I like 12 minutes, nice and chewy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Between a ramekin and a square

Just my two cents...a month ago or so we had some friends over for dinner and a conversation started from one of our guests saying why is everything in menus about a ramekin or an infusion or a foam?

It's true sometimes from a non- foodie's perspective looking inside our industry it can get a touch snobbish...and yes often it can get a bit much to hear certain words over and over on menus to describe simple things...but it is what it is...

Can we meet half way people?

Because I go to people's home every other day I see what people eat, I see their fridge and pantry and from a foodie looking inside, I also have an issue with some of the stuff I see but it is what it is... One thing that really gets me laughing is when I read a recipe in a magazine that says 2 square of chocolates. Really, in today's world where we can get oranges from South Africa and Avocado from |Chili, you mean to tell me that 2 squares of chocolate is what I need to make these quote: "Incredible Delicious Espresso Brownies" why in the world is this product still on the market... if you want to make incredible anything I would suggest you start by buying good quality chocolate and get rid of your Bakers... try Barry-Callebaut-or Lindts, or any other world renown producer in your area... Bakers was at one point a staple item in my mom's kitchen, but now there is so much better out there and not really much more money, so splurge and get outside your comfort zone.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Simple Rustic Bread Recipe

I am inside all day making bread waiting for the outsite temperature to rise a touch more...

Making bread is a really a “back to basic” kind of thing to do. My mother in law is having surgery and getting a new hip on Monday, so I will bring her a loaf of bread for when she comes out of the hospital.  

This is my recipe:

Day one: mix together one package of dry yeast, one cup of unbleached flour and one cup of water. Let the goopy mushy dough rest in a cool area for one day.

Day two: add half a cup of flour and a touch of water to make the dough absorb the flour.  Let it rest one more day.

Day three: place your goopy/mushy dough into a good size mixer with 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of wheat germ, 1/3 cup corn flour, 3 tbsp good olive oil and enough water to make a firm dough (between one and two cups) Mix for about 4 minutes as fast as your mixer will take without breaking it, stop the mixer and leave your dough in it. Wait 10 minutes and add 2 tsp sea salt and mix 5 more minutes. On your table, your dough needs to be kneed for one minute or until you press your finger in your dough and the print bounce back right away. Oil a bowl and leave your dough cover with a plastic bag and wet towel until it doubles in size.
Place your dough on your table and work it into the shape you want or in the pan you want. Let it rise double again. Just so you know, freestyle shaping bread is the hard part, and to consistently get the perfect looking loaf it will most likely take you a few months to get better at it. By using a pan you avoid that learning process and get a nice loaf each time. You can also use YouTube to see how other people shape their dough.

Bake in a 425F oven middle rack for about 45 to 55 minutes depending on the shape you chose. Your bread is cooked when you remove it from the oven and if you tap the bottom of your loaf it sounds kinda empty or hollow.

Eat whenever you want.