Saturday, February 28, 2009

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Valentino

DB: Valentino Cake with Matcha Ice Cream


Ah..February. The month of Valentines Day. A day for lovers to be in love and spend ridiculous amounts of money to show that they love someone. Its also a day for those that are single to be made perfectly aware that they are in fact single. When I was in college, a few of my single friends and I decided to go out together, eat Mexican food, watch a marathon of chick flicks, and celebrate the hidden side of Valentines Day...Singles Awareness Day. Or SAD as my friend Christine referred to it. Kind of fitting uh? Of course, I am a happily dedicated single gal so maybe for at least one, then its not so sad.

For our Daring Bakers challenge this month, we were given a chocolate flour less cake. Perfect for my Singles Awareness Day celebration!

The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

You've heard me say many times that I am not a huge fan of chocolate. I eat it but don't go out of my way to pick or eat chocolate recipes. But lately I seem to be inundated with a ton to make. Well, eating chocolate isn't a bad thing really so I guess I just have to roll with it, don't I?

I was intrigued by the recipe chosen this month because it is a flour less chocolate cake. I've never made such a cake before and was a bit nervous. It seemed easy enough though with just three ingredients, it didn't look like it was that hard to make.

It was sooooo easy to do. I had the chocolate and butter melted, mixed, and ready in no time. Even the egg whites were a piece of cake (hehe). I used my immersion blender to whip them up in less than a minute. I don't think I've ever had them set up that fast using my mixer!

Instead of making one big cake (even though I had the heart shaped pan) I made a quarter of a recipe and used 3 4-inch round cake pans. It was such a delicious cake! Nice and chewy! I think the reason I really enjoyed this cake so much was the fact that I used milk chocolate. Our hosts said the cake would taste like the chocolate we used so that was a major consideration. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate and I'm okay with semi-sweet. But for me to really enjoy my chocolate, it has to be milk chocolate. I like my chocolate sweet not bitter like dark.

This cake tasted how I imagine my perfect brownie would taste. The texture was also how I like my brownies. Perfectly chewy and slightly fudgy. I'll definitely be making this again. Probably thinking of it as a brownie though!

The second part of our challenge was to make ice cream. I'm no stranger to making ice cream. I grew up making it with an electric ice cream maker that you had to sit outside in a bucket to catch the melted water. It was also very loud! Nowadays, I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker that I love. It make the perfect amount for one person to eat within a reasonable amount of time.

We were given two options for the ice cream. A traditional custard base made with eggs or a Philidelphia Style. While I love the traditional style of ice cream, I wasn't in the mood for something complicated so I went with the Philidelphia style. I used low fat half and half and non fat milk because that was all I had in the fridge at the time. I also added some Matcha to the mix to give it a little boost in flavor. It was a delicious ice cream. A little icy, no doubt from my low and non fat items but I really enjoyed it. The matcha flavor paired really well with the chocolate cake. It almost gave it a minty, flowery taste. Very, very nice! Next time I would add a bit more to give the ice cream a greener color and to umph the flavor some more.

DB: Valentino Cake with Matcha Ice Cream

Thanks to our hosts for such a delicious challenge! You can see more Chocolate Valentino and ice cream combinations, check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll!

DB: Valentino Cake with Matcha Ice Cream


Chocolate Valentino

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used milk chocolate)
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated

1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.

2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.

3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.

4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).

5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.

6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.

7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.

8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C.

9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C. Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.

10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.

Dharm's Ice Cream Recipe

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Recipe comes from the Ice Cream Book by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis (tested modifications and notes in parentheses by Dharm)

Ingredients

1 Vanilla Pod (or substitute with vanilla extract)
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Semi Skimmed Milk – in the U.S. this is 2% fat (or use fresh full fat milk that is pasteurised and homogenised {as opposed to canned or powdered}). Dharm used whole milk.
4 large egg yolks
75g / 3oz / 6 tbsp caster sugar {superfine sugar can be achieved in a food processor or use regular granulated sugar}
5ml / 1 tsp corn flour {cornstarch}
300ml / ½ pint / 1 ¼ cups Double Cream (48% butter fat) {in the U.S. heavy cream is 37% fat)
{you can easily increase your cream's fat content by heating 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 3 Tbs of butter until melted - cool to room temperature and add to the heavy cream as soon as whisk marks appear in the cream, in a slow steady stream, with the mixer on low speed. Raise speed and continue whipping the cream) or use heavy cream the difference will be in the creaminess of the ice cream.

1. Using a small knife slit the vanilla pod lengthways. Pour the milk into a heavy based saucepan, add the vanilla pod and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Lift the vanilla pod up. Holding it over the pan, scrape the black seeds out of the pod with a small knife so that they fall back into the milk. SET the vanilla pod aside and bring the milk back to the boil.

2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and corn-flour in a bowl until the mixture is thick and foamy. 3. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a gentle hear, stirring all the time.

4. When the custard thickens and is smooth, pour it back into the bowl. Cool it then chill.

5. By Hand: Whip the cream until it has thickened but still falls from a spoon. Fold it into the custard and pour into a plastic tub or similar freeze-proof container. Freeze for 6 hours or until firm enough to scoop, beating it twice (during the freezing process – to get smoother ice cream or else the ice cream will be icy and coarse).

By Using and Ice Cream Maker: Stir the cream into the custard and churn the mixture until thick (follow instructions on your ice cream maker)

Wendy's Ice Cream Recipe (I used this recipe...sort of.)
Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk) (I used low fat half and half)
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream (I used non fat milk)
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugar
Dash of salt
1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla
I also added 1 tsp of Matcha

Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too).

Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate


When I was a senior in college, the university food services opened up a coffee shop just across the street from the campus. It was like a cheaper version of Starbucks. Perfect for the poor college student like I was! One of my favorite things to get on a cold night after class, was their White Hot Chocolate. I don't know what it was about it but that delicious concoction was addicting. I'm not sure how much I spent over the year but I know it was way more than I should!

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I had a craving for some white hot chocolate. Since I am about 150 miles and 3 hours away from my university, I needed something to make at home since I am not a huge fan of Starbucks White Hot Chocolate. Instead, I had found a nice, yummy recipe for white hot chocolate. Unfortunately, I didn't have any white chocolate when I went to make it! Groan!! So I made a few changes based on what I had on hand and came up with this peppermint hot chocolate. It was quite tasty and it didn't take too long at all!

It was soooo good. I used Andes peppermint baking chips and a milk chocolate. The peppermint was strong but not overwhelming. I was wishing I had another cup by the time I was done. Definitely on my must make frequently list! Yes...even in the summer! The original version from Once Upon a Plate is still on my list to make when I have white chocolate!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Adapted from White Christmas Hot Chocolate

1 serving

about 1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)
2-3 T of mint baking chips (A guesstimate. I'm not sure exactly what I threw in there!)
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup milk (I used non fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I like mine with lots of vanilla but you can use less or to your taste)
Whipped Cream to top

Directions

Combine chocolate, peppermint chips, and half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until chocolate melts.

Stir in milk and vanilla extract. Heat gently until hot, stirring occasionally. To make the hot chocolate smooth, blend carefully with an immersion blender. Careful...its hot!!!

Pour into a mug then top with whipped cream.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Scottish Sharp Cheddar Shortbread

Scottish Sharp Cheddar Shortbread

This week, Christine (my blogging and real life movie buddy!) chose something savory for us to make for Two Hot Chicks Baking. After all of the sweets I've made lately, I was very happy! She picked Scottish Sharp Cheddar Shortbread. An interesting combination, shortbread and sharp cheddar cheese. Two things that I love but would never had thought to put together.

I decided to break out of my $25 or less a week food budget and get some really good white cheddar. Cheddar...ah....it is my weakness. Especially an excellent sharp white cheddar. I could eat the whole brick myself. I would pay for it later no doubt but it would be worth it. TMI? Sorry about that!

These were really easy and quick to make. Other than softening the butter, I don't think it took more than 10 minutes until they were mixed and in the oven. Because of all of the cheese they were a little greasy after baking but it didn't deter from the amazing cheddar flavor. You can't just use an everyday run of the mill cheddar cheese for these. For them to be more than okay, they need a really good quality white cheddar.

I served these with a Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup. They were a perfect dipping 'cracker'. Or dropping in my case. I'm not much of a dipper I found out. I'm kind of a dunker. And a dropper. Most of the time I got one good dip and bite before splat! The rest of the shortbread was in the soup. It was still good all soaked up in tomato soup so it wasn't that bad I guess!

Obviously I loved these. I wish I had made more than half a recipe because I only have 2 left! They will be put in the make again file for sure! Great pick Christine!

Scottish Sharp-Cheddar Shortbread
Source: Epicurious.com

* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Pinch of cayenne pepper
* 8 ounces extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese, finely shredded
* 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Preparation

Using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat together butter, salt, black pepper, and cayenne at low speed just until blended. Add Cheddar and flour and mix at low speed just until smooth (do not overmix). Shape dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and chill 30 minutes.

Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4- to 1/8-inch-thick round. Using 1 1/2- to 2-inch round cutter, cut out rounds and arrange 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Reroll scraps if desired (rerolled scraps will be tougher).

Bake shortbread until lightly golden and beginning to brown on edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TWD:Devils Food White Out Cake

Devil's Food White Out Cake

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is Devils Food White Out Cake chosen by Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater. I actually made this cake last May for my youngest sister's birthday but never got around to posting it.

My sister helped put the cake together. She's developed quite the enthusiasm for cooking and anytime I come to visit she loves to help. I thought it fitting that she helped make her own cake!

Devil's Food White Out Cake
Do you think she liked it?

The cake itself was very easy to make. The frosting is where we had problems. We never could get the temperature listed in the recipe. After waiting a very long time, we finally gave up (i.e. got fed up) and added the syrup to the egg whites. After the syrup was added, the frosting finally followed the directions. At least we think it did, we're still not really sure we did it right.

Devil's Food White Out Cake

The frosting was delicious but very soft. And very sticky. The cake layers started to slide a bit after it was assembled and cut. The only solution was to eat it as quickly as possible. Which we did. And it was very, very good! I could have eaten a bowl of the frosting by itself!

Devil's Food White Out Cake
Its not the prettiest cake but it was tasty!

Great pick this week Stephanie! It is a perfect birthday or celebration cake. You can find the recipe on her blog, Confessions of a City Eater or on page 246-7 of Baking. To see more cake, check out the TWD blogroll.

Devil's Food White Out Cake
And here was Charlie, waiting for a dropped piece!

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2HCB: Triple Chocolate Brownies

Triple Chocolate Brownies

I may not be a fan of all chocolate cookies but I looooove brownies. Nice thick fudgy brownies fresh from the oven. I've attempted many homemade versions in the past but nothing really competes with the yummy pan of boxed brownies. Yes...I much prefer the taste and texture of a boxed homemade brownie. In some ways it makes me feel less of a foodie wannabe. Shouldn't I naturally prefer the from scratch version of well...anything.? Sadly, this is not the case. There are many things that I prefer store bought or boxed, brownies are just one.

Last week Christine picked Alton Brown's Ginger Snaps for our first Two Hot Chicks Baking. For my turn this week, I chose something completely and utterly bad for you. Nigella Lawson's Triple Chocolate Brownies. After those failed attempts in the past to make delicious homemade brownies better than the boxed kind, I was ready to try again.

Nigella is my kind of cook. She's not afraid of butter or sugar or anything that we're supposed to fear these days. Take one look at her and you know she's also not afraid to eat what she makes. Not that she's fat by any means. She has meat on her bones. Just like me. And that makes me like her all the more.

These brownies are loaded up with three different kinds of chocolate. Bittersweet, semisweet, and white. Because I like my chocolate to be sweeter, I replace the bittersweet with semisweet for the batter and used milk chocolate instead of semi for the add ins.

They were pretty simple to make. I cheated and melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave. I don't like using the double boiler and I'm lazy so the quicker it melted the better. I halved the recipe since I really, really don't need 18 brownies in my house and if there were good, I seriously doubt I was going to share with the work guys.

Unfortunately, for all of my enthusiasm, these brownies were a semi-failure too. I baked the brownies for 25 minutes, tested them, and they weren't done yet. No problem. I baked them for five minutes more and checked them only to find them still a gooey not done mess in the middle. I gave them a few more minutes and this time when I tested, the little tester came out clean. I set them aside to cool while I made dinner.

So you'd think that the tester coming out clean meant they were done right? Wrong. Absolutely without a doubt wrong. I cut into those babes and the middle was a complete and utter gooey mess. Seriously not done. The outer edge was done perfectly but the center was pretty much no edible. I thought about putting them back in but at this point they were room temp and I wasn't sure it would matter.

Triple Chocolate Brownies
See the super gooeyness of the upper one?

The outside edges were quite tasty. If I could figure why the center never cooked, I would consider making these my go to brownies. I talked to Christine later than evening after I made them and I was happy (well sort of ) to find out that she was having the same problem. Only she didn't have the tester that LIED and she was able to keep cooking them until they were somewhat done.

I'd be interested to find out if anyone has made these before and if they had the same problems. Even if you haven't made them and know what I screwed up, I'd be glad to know as well.

Check out Christine's blog to see her take on the brownies!

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Ingredients

* 3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 12 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)
* 6 eggs
* 1 3/4 cups superfine sugar (I used regular sugar, just a tad less)
* 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup white chocolate buttons, chips, or morsels
* 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate buttons, chips or morsels (I used milk chocolate)
* Approximately 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar, for garnish
*
* Special equipment: Baking tin (approximately 11 1/4 inches by 9 inches by 2 inches), sides and base lined with baking parchment.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a large heavy based pan over a low heat.

In a bowl or large measuring jug, beat the eggs together with the superfine sugar and vanilla extract.

Allow the chocolate mixture to cool a little, then add the egg and sugar mixture and beat well. Fold in the flour and salt. Then stir in the white chocolate buttons or chips, and the semisweet chocolate buttons or chips. Beat to combine then scrape and pour the brownie mixture into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 25 minutes. You can see when the brownies are ready because the top dries to a slightly paler brown speckle, while the middle remains dark, dense and gooey. Even with such a big batch you do need to keep checking on it: the difference between gooey brownies and dry ones is only a few minutes. Remember, too, that they will continue to cook as they cool.

To serve, cut into squares while still warm and pile up on a large plate, sprinkling with confectioners' sugar pushed with a teaspoon through a small sieve.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TWD: Floating Islands

Floating Islands

After last weeks World Peace Cow Patties, I was hoping for an easier, more successful go this time around. Our host this week, Shari of Whisk: A Food Blog, chose Floating Islands (pg 401-402). While these weren't super easy, they at least didn't end up looking like cow dung.

I've made custards and meringues before so I wasn't that nervous about making this recipe. The only thing I had not done prior to this was poaching the meringues in milk. It seemed a little odd but not difficult. To make this easier for one to eat, I halved the creme anglaise and did a 1/3 of the meringues.

The first thing I did was make the creme anglaise so it could chill in the fridge for awhile before the meringues were made. For most of the cooking time, there was no problem with the creme anglaise. The last two minutes however were another story. It completely separated and then curdled. Ugh...what??!!! When I strained it, most of the creme looked liked scrambled eggs and I had about 1/3 cup of liquid left. Not really sure what to do, I put the liquid in the fridge after adding the vanilla. I crossed my fingers that it would taste okay.

With the creme anglaise chilling, I got started on the meringues. There really wasn't a problem with them. My milk never made it to a simmer but I didn't want to scorch it by turning the heat up so I went ahead with the poaching. It seemed to work out alright because they appeared to be done after the required poaching time.

After the meringues had their chill time, I assembled the floating islands. Well...I poured the thin liquid in a bowl and set a few of the meringues on top. They float! Hooray!!! I didn't attempt to make the caramel so I tried to dust the tops with cinnamon. Tried being the operative word there. It ended up being a shower of shorts. A kind of clumpy shower. Sigh...oh well. After a few pictures, I mixed the extra cinnamon in and had at it. Not bad. The creme anglaise was very tasty especially with the cinnamon. The meringues were good. Nothing special but an interesting idea.

Would I make this again? Possibly. I want to try the creme anglaise again to see what I did wrong the first time. It will be a while though.

Thanks to Shari for a creative recipe! Next week I get a reprieve of sorts. Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater chose Devil's Food White Out Cake. I made this a long time ago (May '08 to be exact) for my youngest sister's birthday but for some reason never posted about it! Woot! A post done in advance!

To get this weeks recipe, see Shari's blog. For more floating islands, checkout the TWD blogroll.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

How to Peel an Egg in 10 Seconds



Pretty nifty! It makes me want make a couple of hard boiled eggs just to see if it works!

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ginger Snaps

Gingersnaps

My good friend, Christine, and I recently decided we would like to have our own little baking 'group' tentatively titled, Two Hot Chicks Baking. For our first, time out, Christine choose Alton Brown's Gingersnaps. I love gingersnaps and AB so this was an excellent choice in my opinion.

I've never made home made gingersnaps. The only ones I've been exposed to are the store bought cookies. While most of them are good, like most store boughts, they never quite taste the same as something fresh from the oven.

These were a snap (hehe) to put together. I made half of batch since a full was supposed to make about 4 dozen. Too many for me! However, I only got 1 1/2 dozen out of half of a batch. My scoops were probably a little bigger than recommended. The cookies weren't too big though.

I didn't have any fresh ginger or candied so I left those out. I added extra ground ginger to boost the ginger flavor. I'll try and pick up some candied and fresh to have around next time I want to make these (which I will because they were good!).

Alton gives you a baking time option depending on if you want soft or crispier cookies. I like my cookies on the crispy side so I baked mine for 14 minutes. They came out perfectly! Just the right amount of snap and chewiness. Even without the candied and fresh ginger, the ginger came out very well. If I were to bake them again without though, I would add a bit more ginger to boost the flavor a bit. It was tasty but I felt it could use just a touch more ginger. Of course, the candied and fresh probably take care of that anyway! lol.

A great cookie from my favorite AB! I'll definitely be making these again. And I won't wait until Christmas either! They are just too tasty!

Alton Brown's Ginger Snaps
Source: Food Network

Ingredients

* 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 7 ounces dark brown sugar
* 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
* 3 ounces molasses, by weight
* 1 large egg, room temperature
* 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
* 4 ounces finely chopped candied ginger

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cardamom, clove and salt.

Place the brown sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the molasses, egg and fresh ginger and beat on medium for 1 minute. Add the crystallized ginger and using a rubber spatula, stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined.

With a 2-teaspoon sized scoop, drop the dough onto a parchment lined half sheet pan approximately 2-inches apart. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 minutes for slightly chewy cookies or 15 minutes for more crisp cookies. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to stay on the sheet pan for 30 seconds before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with all of the dough. Store in an airtight container for up 10 days. If desired, you may scoop and freeze the cookie dough on a sheet pan and once frozen, place in a resealable bag to store. Bake directly from the freezer as above.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TWD: World Peace Cookies

World Peace Cookies
Not the prettiest things you've ever seen right?

Maybe I did something wrong but I was really disappointed with these cookies. From all of the hype and praise I'd seen, I expected something out of this world. Instead, I got a super crumbly mixture that I had to add a few tablespoons of liquid just so it would hold together.

Because the dough was so crumbly, I didn't bother rolling and shaping into a log. I put the bowl into the fridge so the dough could firm up then I shaped the dough into round balls. I baked them for the recommended time even though I shaped them differently.

The taste was okay but it wasn't anything special. They tasted like any other chocolate chocolate chip cookie I've had. Would I make these again? Probably not since I'm not a huge chocolate fan. I'm not sure they would bring peace to the world. Well, maybe to the chocoholics of the world!

World Peace Cookies
They kind of look like cow patties...ewww.

This recipe was chosen by Jessica of cookbookhabit. You can find the recipe typed up there or pick up a copy of Dorie's Baking from My Home to Yours pg 138-139. Check out more TWD bakers at work here!

Next week will be Floating Islands picked by Shari of Whisk: a food blog. Sounds interesting! Can't wait to try it!

Sorry for the horrible pictures. After the troubles getting them made, I wasn't too keen on trying for great pictures.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

R2R: Holopchi

Holopchi

This month's challenge for Recipes to Rival is a Ukranian dish called Holopchi. Its kind of like a cabbage roll but instead, its bread dough wrapped in beat leaves. Our host for this month were Giz & Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen and katbaro of A Good Appetite.

I was a little intimidated by this recipe at first. It seemed like a lot of work and it made a huge batch! But one of our hosts scaled it down to a quarter of a recipe (still quite a bit) so it seemed easier to handle after that.

I went ahead and scaled it down even more to an eighth of a recipe so I wouldn't end up with a ton of extras. I ended up with about 14 holopchi. While this recipe does take a lot of time like any yeasted bread (all that rising), it wasn't all that hard. I had everything mixed and rising in no time. I made one substitution with the beat leaves though. The ones at my local grocery store looked a little sad and limpy. I used collard greens instead. They held up really with the bread and were quite tasty.

Holopchi

After wrapping the bread dough with the leaves, I left them to rise one last time. I came back and they were spilling out of the leaves!

Holopchi

I didn't bake my rolls with the dill sauce. Instead I used lots of butter as suggested in the recipe. Lots and lots of butter. Paula Deen would have been proud!

I did forget to cover the holopchi when I first put them in the oven so the collard greens were a little...crispier... than they probably should have been. It didn't affect the flavor of the rolls though. These little babies were delicious! The butter made the bread itself crispy and oh so buttery yum. The dill sauce that went with them was also very tasty. I wasn't sure of the dill/collard green combination but it turned out to be wonderful. I may try baking them in the sauce next time, though I loved baking them with the butter. All in all, a great recipe. One that I will definitely try again!

For more holopchi, check out the Recipes to Rival Blogroll.

Holopchi

Beet Leaf Holopchi
from The Keld Community Ladies Club in Ashville, Manitoba. The last publishing of this cookbook was 1976 and I doubt it's even in circulation anymore.

This is not your usual cabbage roll - can you imagine a bread dough wrapped in beet leaves and baked in a creamy, garlic, onion and dill sauce.

Bread Dough:

2 pkgs. yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 cups scalded milk
4 cups warm water
1/4 cup melted butter
8 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
6 1/2 cups flour
a couple bunches of beet leaves (I used collard greens)

Note: When I first saw this recipe I thought it was wrong - how many recipes need THAT much flour. I used the recipe and indeed had to add more to get the right consistency. AND I ran out of dough before I ran out of beet leaves.

Directions

1. Dissolve 1 ts. sugar in 1/2 cup tepid water, sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. To the milk-water liquid add the melted butter, dissolved yeast and 8 cups of flour. Let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (about 1 hour)

3. Add salt, beaten eggs, sugar and remaining flour.

4. Knead well until dough is smooth and top with melted butter or oil.

5. Place in a warm place and let rise until double in bulk. It will take about 2 hours. Punch down . When dough has risen to double in bulk, place a piece of dough, the size of a walnut on a beet leaf and roll up (leaving sides open)

Holopchi

6. Place holopchi loosely in a pot to allow for dough to rise to double in bulk again.

7. Arrange in layers, dotting each layer with butter.

8. Cover tightly, bake in a moderate oven of 350 F for 3/4 to 1 hour. Serve with dill sauce or cream and onion sauce. (I like to cook the holopchi with the sauce but you don't have to. You can add it later - just make sure you have enough butter in roasting pan before layering your beet leaf rolls.)

Sauce

1/2 cup butter
2 cups whipping cream
8 small onions (I left these out and just used dill)
2 handfuls of chopped fresh dill (this makes the whole dish)
2-4 large cloves of garlic, chopped fine

Melt butter in saucepan. Add onions, garlic, dill and cream.
Let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat.

This is not a 5 minute recipe. When you commit to making it - it's an adventure - most definitely a worthwhile one.

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