It rained & I baked Not your Basic Brownies

Hello! Happy Monday!

How was everyone’s weekend? Were you lucky enough to have both a 4-day weekend AND sunshine? I didn’t have either. Seriously. I’m so totally over the rain.

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Oh. Sorry. Potty mouth. Please forgive me. It’s been raining for a week. And there’s a Tropical Storm in the Atlantic. Yay. More rain. Just what we need.

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I may charge admission to the swimming pool that is my driveway.

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Okay. Enough about that.

Rain makes me want to bake. I don’t know why but it does. So, I made brownies. 🙂

Brownies are delicious.

While they were cooking, I watched some TV and ate some popcorn. I had a feeling I was being watched.

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Do you think he wants some? 🙂

I found a light brownie recipe in my 1,000 Lowfat Recipes cookbook and I adjusted it. Because, you know, that’s what I do. These brownies are rich and dense and dark. They are also screaming for the addition of some peanut butter chips or some milk chocolate chips. Oh my goodness.

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If only I had remembered to put in the peanut butter chips. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to make them again. Aw, shucks! 🙂

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You could also frost them.

Or put ice cream on them.

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Om nom nom!

Not your Basic Brownies
makes 12 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
2 egg whites
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup Domino light sugar & stevia blend
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose white flour
1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Put the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Coat an 8×8-inch pan with nonstick spray.

2. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat the butter, applesauce, yogurt, egg whites, egg, vanilla, and sugars until the sugar is dissolved and the batter is smooth. Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt into the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir until all is moist and smooth. Pour into the baking pan and tap on the table to get rid of large air pockets in the batter.

3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center of the brownies is firm to the touch.

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Per serving:
Calories 114; Fat 3g; Carbs 22g (sugar 13g); Protein 4g

– jennifer

Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake

Today is my grandmother’s 93rd birthday.  Seriously. She’s 93. And, she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world. And, she loves chocolate.  Well, who doesn’t?! Oh wait, my uncle, her son doesn’t. Yeah, he’s an odd duck. But, he has great taste in wine and can cook up a storm so we let it go about the chocolate.  Anyway, he’s not here and I’m in charge of the food and if grandma wants chocolate cake, thens grandma gets chocolate cake. 🙂 Grandma also wants Brussels sprouts, which are NOT my favorite, but hey, she’s cute, it’s her birthday, and I love her so I’m making them as part of dinner. Of course, since it’s her birthday, I’ll be willing to let her have my share….cuz I’m generous like that. 🙂 But, I digress….

I found the perfect cake to make her in an old issue (2005) of Food and Wine magazine. Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake – a delicious cake with lots of buttermilk and coffee mixed into the batter creating a moist, rich, decadent, and fudgey dessert. Perfect for the chocolate lover in all of us! (I had you at “fudgey,” didn’t I? 🙂

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Fudgey Chocolate Layer Cake
Makes one 8-inch three-layer cake

CAKE
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup hot coffee
FILLING AND FROSTING
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water

1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the bottoms of three eight-inch round cake pans with rounds of parchment paper. Spray the pans and parchment paper with vegetable cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs and vanilla. In another small bowl, melt the butter in the hot coffee. Using an electric mixer, beat half of the Bbuttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients at low speed. Beat in half of the coffee mixture, then scrape down the bowl. Beat in the remaining buttermilk and coffee mixtures.

3. Poor the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 25 to thirty minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are springy to the touch. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a rack to cool completely. peel off the parchment paper.

4. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: put the chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil. Immediately pour over the chocolate and let stand in a warm place for 5 minutes.. Gently whisk the ganache until smooth. whisk in the butter until incorporated. Refrigerate, stirring frequently, until the ganache is thick enough to spread, about 30 minutes.

5. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the sugar with the water and heat for 30 seconds. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Set a cake layer on a cake plate and brush lightly with the sugar syrup. Spread about 3/4-cup of the frosting on to the cake in an even 1/4-inch layer. Repeat with the remaining cake layers, sugar syrup and frosting. Spread the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake. Let the cake stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour before slicing.

MAKE AHEAD: The cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before slicing.

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