Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Not so much shakin', but a whole lot of bakin'.

I am going to a dinner party on Friday and signed up to bring desserts. I thought this would be a great time to try out two recipes from a couple blogs I follow. Conveniently, I just happened to have on hand the ingredients for both Cold War Brownies and Lime Yogurt Cake.

I started with the cake. It came together quite easily. I used my springform pan (YES! I love my springform!) and it popped out real slick-like. It's sitting at home right now just waiting to be tasted. I'll leave the results for after party when I have some reviews.

These brownies came together smoothly. The chocolate melted perfectly with the butter and looked deliciously smooth in the pan. I wasn't too concerned at the time that all I had was plain ol' cocoa instead of Dutch-processed, and finished the brownie batter in a snap. It didn't quite taste the same as from the box batter (which I love and always get a tummy ache from eating way too much), but I decided it was going to make better brownies, so I pressed on. 

The cream cheese batter confused me. I don't think I've ever been asked to add only an egg yolk to cream cheese for brownies before. What's wrong with just pure cream cheese? That's how I've always done it in the past. But I followed the recipe and finished by plopping and swirling.

I used a little more than half of the cream cheese recipe, and half of the nutella called for and still thought there was plenty on top of the brownies.

I think I'm disappointed in the final product. All I ate was the cast offs from when I cut it into pieces, but they seemed super dense and too much like cocoa and not enough like ooey gooey brownie. The egg in the cream cheese thing? Still don't know if I like it. She does say they change flavor after a day in the fridge, so I'll try them again this evening. But, it may have been a learning experience: don't use regular cocoa when it calls for Dutch-processed.  I may have to make these again after I buy some better cocoa to see if it makes a difference. Stay tuned.

Cold War Brownies

6 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
rounded 1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp cinnamon

4 Tbsp Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 plan with foil, allowing to hang over the edges. Lightly grease.

In a saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove from the heat and stir in teh sugar, then the eggs. Add the flour, cocoa, chili powder, cinnamon and salt and mix in. Finally, stir in the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.

In mixer, beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon.  Drop dollops of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownies. Drop dollops of Nutella.  Use a dull knife to swirl the whole thing.  Bake 35 minutes, or until just set.  Let cool completely before lifting out and cutting into bars. Store in the fridge.

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