Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Desserts

I've been making a concerted effort to diversify my efforts, beyond the realm of one-pot cooking - soups, stews, stir-fries, tagines, ragus, curries - you'd be surprised how many variations on a theme there can be.

So I've started tackling the thing I'm really frightened of. Desserts. They're just so...exacting. I hate all the science-y bits. The measuring and the possibility of errors - mixing something in too early, or too late; the chance that the temperature might be too high or low. Oh, ok. It's just that I'm terrifically lazy and would much prefer the 'throw in a bit of this, bit of that' school of cookery.

Still. "Everyone can bake if they put their mind to it," says my mum. I should be able to stretch beyond chocolate-chip cookies (Thanks, Betty Crocker. It's because of you that I will nab myself that handsome husband someday).

Of course, she's right. Take brownies, for instance. What kind of doofus can't even follow a brownie recipe? Here's a foolproof one, that I adapted with my favourite Spanish product EVER

Cola Cao Brownies
(adapted from the original Betty Crocker recipe)

1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chocolate squares - a mixture of dark and milk is best
2 eggs
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 cup Cola Cao (with this ingredient, they're officially good for you)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Melt the chocolate pieces and butter together in a bain-marie until velvety and gorgeous. Mix with the sugar, flour, Cola Cao powder and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients until you have a fudgey chocolatey sticky bowl of pure joy. Spread out in a greased square pan. Lick mixing spoon. Bake until a toothpick pushed into the middle comes out clean 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. 

Oh, and share with everyone you know. Sharing is good.

NB: Thanks to Lo-Sal for the Cola-Cao, which you can source here, or here.