Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chocolate Chip Brownie

Brownie Mission #2

Okay so I've been a bit AWOL since declaring my first Brownie Mission but I am back with a goodie! Saw this one on a Foodbuzz Top 9 and just had to try it - particularly because they were declared to be "the best brownies in the world". Not quite akin to my Betty Crocker goal (as per my Brownie Mission statement) but really quite close.

Here is my Thermotalk version:

Ingredients

150g milk chocolate easter egg (or choc chips)
120g dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
150g raw sugar
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
100g walnut pieces (optional)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line a 20cm x 30cm cake tin with baking paper.
2. If using leftover easter eggs, chop milk chocolate on speed 7 for 3 to 5 seconds until it resembles choc chips. Set aside.
3. Place dark chocolate in TM bowl and grate for 5 seconds on speed 8.
4. Add butter. Melt for 3 minutes at 50C on speed 3-4.
5. Add eggs, vanilla and raw sugar and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
6. Add flour, salt, choc chips and walnuts (if using) and mix for 20 seconds on reverse speed 3.
7. Pour into cake tin and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
8. Can be left to become completely cool in the tin and dust with icing sugar, or remove and eat warm with icecream or double cream if you can't wait!

Variations: For a darker richer brownie use dark choc chips instead of milk choc chips. For a thicker brownie, use a 20cm x 20cm cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Prune Muffins


Yes I know this might sound like an odd and unattractive combination, but I was looking to add some fibre to my toddler's diet.

The prunes make the mixture look nice and chocolatey and you can't really taste them. The original recipe is actually a cake but I wanted a quick baking / easy to freeze snack and so made them in muffins tin.

The toddler only got plain un-iced ones, but I fancied them up a bit for my older kids (including hiding a little surprise in the middle!)

Here's my Thermotalk version:
Ingredients
150g pitted prunes
65ml boiling water
140g oil
200g raw sugar
20g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
250g buttermilk
375g plain flour (I used 200g wholemeal, 175g white)
2 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
2 tsp baking powder
12 small easter eggs, wrapping removed (optional)

Method
1. Soak prunes in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease muffin tins. (I used 1 x large muffin tin and 2 x mini muffin tin).
3. Place sugar in TM bowl, grind for 3 seconds on speed 9. Set aside.
4. Place prunes and buttermilk in TM bowl. Blend for 10 seconds on speed 7.
5. Add oil, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, eggs and vanilla. Mix for 5 seconds on speed 5.
6. Add flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix for 15 seconds on speed 4 with the aid of the spatula.
7. Spoon mixture into muffin tins.  For the larger muffins, if you want to add the easter egg in - spoon a heaped tablespoonful of the mixture into the muffin tin. Place the easter egg in the middle and top with another heaped tablespoonful of mixture.
8. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes for mini muffins and 18-20 minutes for larger muffins, so that when you push it gently in the middle the muffin springs back.

Icing: Dust with icing sugar or make a chocolate ganache (100g chocolate, grated 10 seconds speed 8, add 30g cream, melt together 2 minutes 50C speed 4) and spread over the top.
Variations: Add chocolate chips - white, milk or dark to add extra chocolatieness to it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin is such a versatile vegetable. Not only is it great for soups and roasts and baby's first food, it is great in baking. And it's perfect for the Thermomix because most recipes require the pumpkin to be cooked and pureed first.

Here's a traditional use for pumpkin in baking - a staple of the Australian country kitchen (and my freezer!) It's also healthier than the common white scone as the moistness of the pumpkin means less butter/fat is used. (Less fat = eat more!)

Ingredients
300g pumpkin, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into rough 3cm chunks
100g raw sugar
60g butter
1 egg
420g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
milk, for glazing

Method
1. Preheat oven to 230C.
2. Place pumpkin in TM bowl. Chop for 5 seconds on speed 6. Cook for 10 minutes at 100C on speed 2. 
3. While pumpkin is cooking prepare cake tins. I used 2 x 20cm round tins - lightly greased.
4. Once pumpkin is cooked, puree for 30 seconds on speed 8. Set aside.
5. Place sugar into TM bowl. Grind for 3 seconds on speed 9.
6. Add butter. Mix for 30 seconds on speed 3-4. 
7. Keep TM on speed 3-4 and add egg.
8. Add cooked pumpkin and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4.
9. Add flour and salt. Mix for 10 seconds on speed 6. Knead on interval speed for 1 minute.
10. Mixture will be quite sticky. Turn out onto well floured board and flatten to about 2cm thick. Using a floured 5cm cookie cutter (or the TM measuring cup) cut out scones and place into tins, slightly touching each other.
11. Brush lightly with milk then place on second from top shelf in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until golden. You may want to rotate the tin after 8 minutes if your oven is a bit one sided (like mine!) to get even browning.

Enjoy plain or with a bit of butter (even better with MYO butter from the TM - see EDC p12).

Cutting tip: If you can't be bothered with the scone cutting and don't mind a more free-form shape - just take heaped tablespoonfuls of dough and place slightly apart from each other on a grease proof paper lined baking tray (this actually results in a slightly  moister scone because the extra flour is not used in the shaping).

Leftover tip: Can be frozen. Separate before freezing if you want to be able to snack on one (or two!) at a time. To defrost just leave on a benchtop to bring back to room temperature (or use the microwave defrost bread function).