Fun with More Amano

February 27, 2009

One of the fun things about being a food blogger is the occasional giveaways. Some people out there are very generous.

Blake, of BlakeMakes happens to be one of the people, and earlier this year he had a giveaway of one of my favorite things. Chocolate! It’s hard enough to resist chocolate on it’s own, and even harder to resist it when it’s free!

And this wasn’t just any chocolate, it was Amano chocolate! The same thing I got from the last Blake Make’s giveaway that I participated in, but different. I have now tried four different types of chocolate from these people, and each and every one was unique, and incredible. I really can’t describe how great this chocolate is, but it’s obvious they take a lot of care to make it right.

For example, Jambra, the chocolate I received in this giveaway … well, I don’t want to sound like one of their spokes people, but they work hard to pick the best ingredients so their chocolate is unique and well worth every penny.

It took a while to pick the right recipe for this chocolate and decided to go with the chocolate chip brioche recipe in new cookbook I got for christmas. I have never made brioche before, and while this had a touch too much butter, and not nearly enough chocolate it was really great.

Chocolate Chip Brioche
Source: The Great Book of Chocolate

1/2 oz instant yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups butter, softened
2 oz chocolate
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of milk, to glaze

Place the yeast, milk, sugar and salt in a small bowl and stir gently. Set aside 10 minutes.

Place the flour in a large bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Beating slowly, gradually add the eggs to form a soft dough.

Turn out onto your work surface and knead until soft and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time. Continue until all the butter has been added, then knead for 5 more minutes.

Add the chocolate and knead until well combined with the dough.

Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in volume, about 90 minutes. Gently remove the risen dough from the bowl and on a floured work surface, flipping the dough over with your fingers.

Place on a tray and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Grease 16 small brioche molds with melted butter.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Weigh off sixteen 1-ounce pieces of dough for the base of the brioches and sixteen 1/3 ounce pieces for the tops.

Shape the larger pieces of dough into tight balls and place in the bottoms of the molds. Shape the smaller pieces of dough into tear-drop shapes. Using your finger, make a hole in the larger balls and poke the teardrop into the holes.

Using a pastry brush, lightly glaze with the egg mixture. Cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm place to double in volume, about 30 minutes. Brush with the glaze again.

Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

I’ve posted the recipe as written, however we ran into a few issues, so these are my notes:

It was a little too buttery, so you might want to use a little less, however, lots of butter makes it flaky, so don’t take out too much if you do adjust it.

I also don’t believe the recipe was nearly chocolaty enough, nor were they sweet enough. I would suggest adding more chocolate (I think we added twice as much as was called for and it still wasn’t enough) adding some cocoa powder, and maybe adjusting the sugar level.

We also had a problem with the time. 10 minutes wasn’t nearly enough, and more time made them too dark. The second batch we baked covered with foil for about 20 minutes, then uncovered for 10, and we tested the inside temperature to make sure that it was 200F, to assure that they were completely baked.

Don’t let any of this prevent you from trying them, though. They were really fun to make and well worth the time. I really wish we had used a tried and true recipe, to do this incredible chocolate some justice, but it was a fun challenge and awesome chocolate.

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Taste & Create: Fudge Makes Everything Better

February 25, 2009

It’s been a long time since I have participated in a Taste and Create event, but I have been pretty excited about getting back into it. Especially since my partner this time around was once again Cupcake Project. Who doesn’t love a good cupcake?

Unfortunately I am a day late posting this. Not off to a great start, but I have a good excuse! We got really excited about the idea of her Chocolate Cupcakes with Bourbon and Pecan – less the Pecan. We started in plenty of time, and were pretty excited about the prospect. I mean, what could be more exciting than boozy cupcakes? Like boozy brownies! Unfortunately, they didn’t quite turn out. I don’t know if it’s because we tried to make half of them with Rum and half with Jack and messed up our measurements or what, but they just weren’t posting quality.

So we dropped those and instead decided to make, and share her Fudge Brownie Cupcakes. Or Colapsacakes, as my man called them. Not very pretty, but definitely tasty.

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes
Source: Cupcake Project

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup
fudge, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon chocolate liqueur

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Mix in fudge.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, mix the milk and chocolate liqueur and stir to combine.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the liquid ingredients and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Note that these cupcakes will not dome. Do not overfill them. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

The batter for these things were awesome. It was light and fluffy, like a mousse. We added some chocolate chips to the batter, spread a thin layer of extra fudge on the cupcakes and topped with chocolate whipped cream (you can use the whipped cream from this recipe)

I don’t know why the tops collapsed so much, but these were so tasty, it didn’t really matter 🙂