Monthly Archives: August 2011

Cookies and brownies

I’m falling behind on my blogging!  I’m still baking, and taking photographs, but my blogging seems to be falling behind.  Perhaps it’s because I’m trying new recipes that can’t be found online, and I don’t really have the time to type the recipes in.

Basically my last two baking endeavors were brownies and cookies.  Last year Tom bought me a chocolate cookbook, and I haven’t really explored much from it, so I’ve been trying to rectify that.  So far, I’ve baked cupcakes, brownies, and cookies from this cookbook, with plans on moving into cakes and perhaps a few more things.  We’ll see.  The brownies were a bit off.  I thought I over baked them, but it turns out that I just had my conversions wrong.  Most chocolate bars for baking here are sold in 100g bars.  That’s slightly over 3 ounces, so if you need 3 ounces of chocolate, you use most of a bar.  If you need 6 oz, you use most of two bars.  And so on…  So this recipe for brownies called for 6 oz of chocolate.  I got my two bars out, and melted the chocolate.  Followed the rest of the recipe and baked them.  They just were wrong.  The next day I realized that the chocolate bars I used were actually 150g of chocolate.  Which means the 6 oz. I thought I was putting into the brownies turned out to be more like 8 or 9 oz.  With baking, the wrong measurements can really screw up the recipe.  Luckily, they still tasted delicious, so we ate them anyway.

Next, I made cookies.  I was more careful with the amounts of chocolate this time.  I don’t remember the name of the cookies, but they are supposed to kind of look like mountains.  Plus you put a bit of chile powder in them, so they are a bit spicy as well.  Tom’s a big fan of the spicy cookies.  Plus I finally managed to find cacao nibs in the UK!  I couldn’t find them for ages, and many recipes in this book call for them.  We were at the borough market, and there was a nice chocolate shop, so I ran in and asked.  They had them!  I bought several so I could try things out with them.  The cookies came out marvelously, and I was quite happy with the taste and texture.  Tom didn’t sleep well those few nights we had them, and he thinks it might be from the nibs, as he has a bit of a problem with caffeine, and the guy at the shop did warn us about eating too many of them late at night.

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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


Banana bread

Mmmm.  Banana bread.  Whenever I buy bananas, and I don’t eat all the bananas, I throw the banana into the freezer.  Whole.  Skin on.  I’m not sure if I’m supposed to, but I do.  I save them for banana bread.  When I want to make the banana bread, I pull out the frozen bananas, and let them defrost.  The defrosted bananas are nice and squishy, and they are the perfect consistency for banana bread.

I made some the other day.  Here’s my recipe (which I got from my dear college friend Elizabeth):

  • 1/2 cup shortening (I use butter, because butter is better, right?)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (I use cider) plus milk to make 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup nuts
  • 3 medium ripe bananas

Cream together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and mix.  Add the vinegar and milk and mix.  Add flour, baking soda, salt and nuts and mix.  Add the bananas and mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes.

Done and done!  Easy recipe.  I’ll often add some spices:  cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger.  I think it gives it a nice flavor, but it’s not necessary.  I’ve also used this base for other types of bread.  I’ve made pumpkin bread by adding pumpkin instead of bananas.  Cranberries go nice with the pumpkin.  I’ve also done lemon poppy seed bread with this base.  It works well.

Here’s my bread.  Unfortunately my pan was a bit small, so it overflowed.  I think next time I’ll just split between two loaf pans.  I should also start using a better camera for my photos.  The camera on my phone just isn’t good enough!

Banana bread

1 Comment

Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Quick bread


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