Monday, September 17, 2007

Nothing But Chocolate!

That's all I got - 2 chocolate recipes! Plenty of other posts "in the oven," so to speak. But God and I have this little agreement that nothing gets posted until he says it's "done."

Anyways, sometimes you just need chocolate. Me - I've never really been a chocolate person. I can pass on Reese's cups, M&M's and the like. A box of Valentine candy lasts me two months and that's the 8oz size. Just not a fan of milk chocolate. When I want chocolate, I want it dark and rich. And you only need a little of the good stuff. Give me a piece of Dove dark in the middle of a bad day at work and . . . okay, I admit, I have a piece almost every day -it's my antioxidant! Anyways here are 2 Seriously Good Chocolate recipes:

Starbuck's Chocolate Cinnamon Bread

Chocolate Batter
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups Dutch-processed cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark, of course!)
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Dutch-processed
cocoa powder
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground cloves
¼ cup decorating or sparkle sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper. Make the Chocolate Batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar with the paddle attachment on medium speed, until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating until each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next and scraping down the sides of the bowl several times.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, water and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to butter, beginning and ending with the flour and beating just until blended. Divide the batter between the two pans, shake the pans to even the tops and set aside.

Make the Cocoa-Spice Sugar Crust: In another small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and cloves. Sprinkle the surfaces of both batters with the decorating sugar. Sprinkle with the cocoa sugar mixture, dividing evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely, run a thin knife around the sides to release the breads and remove from pans. From the kitchen of Marcus Samuelsson

Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted. (1 stick plus 2-2/3 T)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (I sometimes use 1/2 peanut butter chips)

In large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend in 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water; stir until well-blended. stir in sugar, eggs and remaining butter. Add flour, vanilla and salt. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into greased 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or just until brownies begin to pull away from side of pan (do not overbake). Cool and cut into squares.