Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chocolate Cranberry & Almond Brownies

Not having made brownies in over ten years, I decided to give it a whirl.

Meet the Ingredients

Cream butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla and elmond extract
In a double boiler, melt some chocolate. In this case, some blocks of unsweetened baker's chocolate and some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Add chocolate to butter mixture.

I understand baking power is a leavening agent of some sort. I threw some in for good measure.

Then I added flour, almonds, dried cranberries and skor toffee chips.

Bake at 350 till a toothpick says otherwise. 45 minutes for me.

Then for some reason, I decided I wanted cold brownies, so I inverted them on a sheet and...

Put them in the freezer for an hour.

Voila. Decadent. Perhaps a bit too much sugar and the sugar's caramelized a bit too much on the bottom.The cranberry is a really nice contrast with all of the sweet. A little bit of orange would probably go well too.I used sliced almonds, so they're hard to taste in there. Almond chunks or walnuts next time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pear, Apricot & Almond Bread

Inspired by Eileen's delicious Apricot loaf and Jamie Oliver, I bring you my latest no-recipe bread creation!

Flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar

Create your own retention pond (man-made lakes for you marketing folk)

Knead (poorly) and let rise.

Step 4: Caramelize Pears in butter

Add Amaretto and Corn Syrup. I was looking for honey, but I couldn't find any. Hence the Corn Syrup.

Add some dried apricots while you're at it. Oh, and some Apricot Jam. I wanted to add marmalade too, but I went with...

Zest du L'orange

I ended up reducing it for over an hour by continuously adding water. The pears were really resilient and refused to soften! When done, reserve and allow to cool.

After dough has doubled in size, knead some of the gooey fruit mixture into it along with sliced almonds.

It goes into a greased pan.

Alternatively, roll out some dough and create some sort of bread turn-over with the filling.

The Loaf took about 70 minutes at 350 degrees.

The "turn-over" took 50 minutes at 350.

Yum, yumm!

In retrospect, the bread is a bit dry, perhaps over-cooked. Sixty minutes next time along with some butter or olive oil in the dough to keep it moist. Maybe some almond extract in the dough as well.