I am, of course, a confirmed chocoholic. And while I am working towards a healthier kitchen and style of eating, one that I believe will improve our overall health and fitness significantly, I know that there are things I most likely won’t give up. Chocolate would be one of those things, as would my morning cup of coffee. I say most likely, because of course if I were seriously jeopardizing my health I would sacrifice for the good of my family. But I like the 80/20 rule: eat well 80% of the time, and enjoy life how you will in the other 20%. There must always be a balance-you control your diet, your diet doesn’t control you.
So, I continue to seek out excellent recipes for chocolate treats. Today I made a wonderful sourdough chocolate cake (sounds counterintuitive, but stay with me). I usually am not a huge fan of cakes because they can so easily run dry, and I can’t stand dry baked goods. But this was moist and flavorful, with a delightful crumb, and a very balanced sweetness that allowed the chocolate to really shine. And because it is made by souring the dough overnight, it is actually much healthier, as it breaks down the antinutrients in the grains. Check out GNOWFGLINS for the recipe, and for her sourdough ecourse that I’m currently enjoying.
But, before there was sourdough, there were good old white flour brownies. My recipes were requested, so here they are: the traditional-with-some-twists pan recipe and the chewy brownie cookies that are my own pride and joy.
This is adapted from a blog which adapted from a magazine, which-well, it’s basically just mine now
1/3 c butter
2-3 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 c sugar (I use unrefined sugar, like sucanat or rapadura, you could use dark brown sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/4 c baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. finely ground coffee or instant espresso
1/2 c chocolate chips
Melt butter and chocolate in double boiler, or a glass bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure water does not touch the bowl). Stir in sugar. Beat vanilla and eggs together lightly, then gradually add to chocolate (it’s a good idea to temper it if you haven’t let your chocolate cool down a little, so to avoid scrambling the eggs). Stir until smooth and glossy. Sift together the dry ingredients, then gently fold into chocolate. Stir in chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 375. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and butter paper and sides of pan. Spread batter in pan and bake 20-25 min, just until top is set and edges begin to pull away from sides of the pan. Cool before cutting. This is excellent with a little vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce-my favorite dessert of all time.
My mom and I got the idea of the back of a brown sugar bag many years ago, and fiddled and tweaked until we reached the perfection it is today
1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
1/2 c baking cocoa
1 Tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 c chocolate chips
Cream together butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Beat in water, vanilla, and eggs, until smooth and creamy. Sift together all dry ingredients, then gently add to creamed mixture-do not overbeat. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
Preheat oven to 375. Using two spoons or a scoop, shape into balls and bake on greased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven and let sit on pans 3 minutes. Then transfer to sheets of foil to continue cooling. This technique helps to ensure cookies are completely done but still chewy throughout.
I hope to one day find a way to make these recipes using healthier, traditional techniques. In the meantime, they remain excellent splurges for those days when nothing but the best chocolate treats will do.