Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brownie-off




First bake/s of the year!


Brownies were my first bake of the year!!
If I seem excited, it is only because never in all my baking life did i come across the terms "first bake" till recently and I got to know of it just in time to use it, so pardon my excitement over oh-so-trivial things. So, excitement aside, no, not really, I was very excited to make brownies for my first bake. Many of my friends were all "uhhhhh.okkkk.Tell me why are you excited again?" when I told them I was making brownies. They pointed out (some more dramatically then others) that my homemade list had at least 2 or 3 posts on brownies so it was nothing very revolutionARY so what is the BFD?

I told them in the voice you use when you are about to reveal a big secret that I was going to make THE BAKED BROWNIE from my spanking new BAKED recipe book. After standing there after revealing my news with a very super wide grin on my face as though I was going to gloat to my brothers about seeing Santa eating cookies and milk on Christmas Eve for about 10 seconds, I realized they had the same faces they had before I told them anything. There was one particular friend who laughed at me on Facebook saying "Haha! baked brownies". For those of you who are a bit slow, yeah, brownies are baked, I do not think their birthing place was anywhere else besides the oven. I finally realized that there are not many people that know what THE BAKED BROWNIE is unless you are in the U.S, you watch Oprah or you love baking and like me stalk a million and one (not that many) baking blogs and tastespot, foodgawk, etc every day so for those who know it, you know what I am talking about!! Awesomeness.

Of course, I would need to taste the real BAKED BROWNIE to know how mine fared but without eating the real one, like always, I always seem to have some missing ingredients and not do something right so I cannot really call it THE BAKED BROWNIE. Not yet. Until the day I can declare I did it perfect from step 1-10 using all the correct measurement pans and ingredients can I actually proclaim whether that something is THE something. I know it sounds just a tad bit extreme or I am making excuses for my poor baking skills but yes, there it is, really.

What did I miss out this time? White granulated sugar. I had a bout less than 1/4 cup left and so I used that 1/4 cup and added 1 +1/2 cups of light brown sugar when the recipe called for 1+1/2 cups granulated sugar and 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar. I also put in a bit less of the dark chocolate because I am damn broke (IKR, it is the starting of the year and I am broke already?!) and that I had no time to go to the specific places which sold Valrhona here so I only bought 3 bars of 100g Lindt 70% Chocolate when they asked for 11 ounces. I also thought the Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder was the dark unsweetened kind but I am thinking maybe not? If any cocoa powder expert is reading, please comment to enlighten me on this? I am also confused as to the instant espresso powder that I bought is actually instant espresso powder. So ingredients confusion+problems aside, I did not have a 9-by-13 inch so I used a 9-by-9 inch and I do not know if I overmixed, overbeated the batter at any point of time. So after all that...





So yes. That is my BAKED brownie. I "googled" THE BAKED BROWNIE on tastespotting and I realized they all looked different and I think none of them looked like the one in the book. If you have the book, you can compare mine with the book but mine is probably higher because I used a 9-by-9 inch instead of a 9-by-13 inch. Before I talk about the taste, I also on the same night/morning (it was after 12am) baked my go-to-brownies in which I used the Alice Medrich recipe using no chocolate and just cocoa powder.

The Alice Medrich recipe is my go-to recipe because it is very simple and you cant go wrong with it much and that it requires the least amount of equipment and that means less washing up to do. I absolutely detest washing dishes. Bleargh. I added nuts into my brownies this time which I normally try not to because my brothers both detest eating nuts almost as much as my dislike for washing dishes because I was bringing some to a party and some of my friends <3



Then it was brownie-off time!

I did a little survey while my friends and family were happily munching on these brownies and almost all of them preferred my go-to brownies to the BAKED one. However, this is as they say not a very fair experiment and there will definitely be a "re-match" once I master the art of baking THE BAKED BROWNIE and make sure there are no nuts in the Medrich one. Looking forward to it!

I know this entry is already super long and if you are tired reading, feel free to click the "X" at the top right hand corner. For those who like me love long letters and blog posts. Here is a rather long P.S. I used to when I started baking hate brownies because I never seem to get it right. It always turned out a flop or too cakey. Then one day, I found my go-to recipe for brownies and I decided to give brownies a second chance and the rest is history as they say as I never looked back. I am not really going to espouse any grand theory or morals here but sometimes, all it takes is some faith and luck!:)

18 comments:

ovenhaven said...

I must say that your Baked brownies certainly look like the ones in the book! Apart from your friends' feedback, what's your own personal take on the brownies? In terms of texture and taste?

chocolatecup said...

@ovenhaven you are too kind. i think the top is a bit "fail". lol. haha. i kind of liked it. it was very dense, the chocolate taste was very very intense. i liked both really. they taste rather different. i have to say though the Medrich one is sooo easy to make compared to the Baked that I think that if i had to choose one to bake it would be the Medrich one. I am not giving up on BAKED though just maybe not baking it so soon because not only are the ingredients expensive, i feel like i will never achieve the REAL BAKED standard and since i am a perfectionist... haha. thanks for stopping by and reading if you are reading this my longlong comment

Anonymous said...

you're writing much these days! this entry makes me laugh, you are my sunshine(:
-meiling

chocolatecup said...

@meiling: i know right? am i rambling too much? haha! you will always be my inspiration:)

Carolyn Jung said...

I have the "Baked'' book and love it. Although I've made a few of the recipes, the brownies are one I have not yet tried. I have been curious about whether they lived up to the reputation in the book as being the best brownie recipe ever. But it's like you said -- it's so subjective. It really depends on the taste and texture you like.

chocolatecup said...

@Carolyn I <3 the book alot too and only recently purchased it because I got a 50dollar gift card for my birthday! This is my very fist attempt at making something from the book but I feel like I want to make almost everything! what have you tried that you think are good?

Justin said...

they look awesome. i'm always making little substitutes like that, when I run short on sugar.

chocolatecup said...

@Justin: i hate it when i run out of stuffs! haha.

chocolate and whine said...

I love brownies. I don't know what these were supposed to look like, but they look amazing!

chocolatecup said...

@chocolate and whine they tasted yummmy really. i <3 brownies super much and chochip cookies!:))

Amanda said...

Great job!! They look delicious..and I bet they taste even better!

chocolatecup said...

@Amanda Thank you! It was reall tasty and I really like brownies alot:))

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Hi,ur brownies look fanTASTIC ....me have had a few experiments with brownies and preferred the NL recipe to baked but drooling over ur pics wanna give baked another shot...
Oh aint that gooey intense chocolatey flav so exciting?
Nice blog-ur strawberry chocolate cuppy's are beautiful,those heart sprinkles i jus cant find anywhere-u picked them from wiltons i guess.

chocolatecup said...

@vanillastrawberryspringfields wow! that was a loooong name! haha! i actually have NL's How to be a domestic goddess, cannot remember if she actually has the brownie recipe, will definitely try it out if it does! oh the heart sprinkles! my mum found it at this baking supply store in Singapore where we usually go to stock up on my baking supplies for some of her stuff and i used the leftovers on my cupcakes:) thanks for dropping by!

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Oh i loved dropping by and will be here again-infact cant afford to miss any of ur goodies truly cant so am gng to follow ur blog now....
hahaha,evry time i do have to type it i remember how long a name it is but it has all my favs in...vanilla and strawberry and spring and fields and put it together and u have a fairytale vision...
my mommy also trying tog et me those sprinkles,its very difficult to get any sprinkles out here.
She took around 4 months of (my ) research till she finally got me good quality chocolate else all u get here is compounded choco.
will rep to ur message on my blog(thanx babes)in a bit sweety.

chocolatecup said...

@vanillastrawberryspringfields you are sooo adorable! i love that i like all the things you like:) plusss, it is nice to get reminded of the things you like in "subtle" ways like putting it in your username or letting people know what you like to at a glance:) your mom is sooo nice to go to all lengths to get you nice chocolate:) dont we all just love our moms:)

Sweet and Savory said...

Your brownies look great. I love making all different kinds of brownies. I am not blogging about flourless brownies which seem richer to me.

I like that orange cake also.

chocolatecup said...

@sweet and savory thank you soooo much for being a brownie supporter! i think one can never have too many brownie recipes or too many chocolate chip cookie recipes or too many shoes..haha. i shant go on:P your nigella flourless looks awesome! thanks for dropping by!