Monday, January 10, 2011

Back in the Kitchen Again

To all those who were following my blog - I am finally back in the kitchen again.  The last 8 months have been a bit challenging - waiting for hip replacement (in Canada there is a wait list for "elective" surgery") - but I had the surgery and after 5 weeks feel better than I have in a long time.

Yesterday my favorite co-conspirator in the kitchen - Alfee - and I tackled some new recipes.  Alfee was recovering from impacted wisdom tooth extraction and called asking if I felt like baking.  It was just the push that I needed.

In the last eight months I think that I have watched every show on the food channel and the new cooking channel.  And at times when the pain from my hip was too much at 4 in the am I would dream about stuffed brownies.  So the first thing that I wanted to tackle was a chocolate brownie with a marshmallow top and enrobed in dark chocolate.  Can you say decadent?

We started with Martha Stewarts ultimate brownie recipe but modified it significantly.  Below is the basic recipe:_Martha Stewart Ultimate Brownie.    This recipe is so good because it has a very high egg to batter ratio.  The recipe calls for 5 eggs which makes it exceptionally rich but it is worth it.  Where the recipe calls for a 9x13 inch pan we used a half a sheet pan,  The recipe calls for baking the brownies at 425 degrees - we baked them at 400 degrees and the recipe calls for 25-30 minutes of baking time and we baked the brownies for 10 minutes.    I wanted the brownie to be chewy, moist but thin enough so that when I added the marshmallow and the chocolate it would not be too thick!  They came out perfectly.  

We then proceeded to make the homemade marshmallows.  Why anyone would buy marshmallows is beyond me.  Homemade ones are as light as clouds with none of the chemical sweetness that you get with commercials ones.  We again used the Martha Stewart recipe but did not add the vanilla - they were a perfect foil to the brownies.  Here is the recipe: Marshmallow Recipe they set up within 15 minutes and were dry enough to cut after 90 minutes - which is very fast.

This is what the consistency should be when you are finished making the marshmallows!

Half the brownies covered with the home marshamallow and half "au natural"

A side view of the brownie marshmallow creation

Brownies cut into squares awaiting their enrobing in dark chocolate

After we cut the brownies we melted one pound of 65% dark chocolate to cover the brownie/marshmallow.  We gently melted it in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering hot water taking care not to burn the chocolate.  We then ladled the chocolate over the brownies and left it to harden for around an hour.

They aren't quite as pretty as I would have liked - you can tell that I am a bit out of practice and need to get my groove back - but there was nothing wrong with the taste.  I grew up eating Mallomar's - those disgustingly sweet cookie/marshmallow/chocolate cookies.

These are the same concept but are as light as a feather.  When you bite into them they have that crunch of the hardened chocolate that gives way to the lightness and gooeyness of the marshmallow followed by the density of the brownie.

I am glad that I am back in the kitchen again!!