two-tone chocolate pudding

cocolate pudding in martini glassesFebruary, and everywhere there are chocolate recipes. Not usually my thing but some chocolate sounded good to me so I made one. It’s a layered chocolate pudding/custard thing. My milk chocolate layer on the bottom never really set, it was a little soupy, and the dark chocolate layer was basically like fudge or thick frosting. It still tasted good…but how am I going to get a spoon into that champagne flute to eat it…not really thinking ahead there.

mole from scratch…what was I thinking

I like to challenge myself but really….what was I thinking?! This really was ridiculous. You need a small army of people to make mole. I started on the first few steps on Saturday and then Sunday basically spent from 8 am to 11 pm working on it. I took two meal breaks and went to yoga class. By the end the evening my legs/knees hurt, part of that was yoga, but mostly standing all day. I am 35 and a half, ya know.

So it is kind of like really complicated granola. There are 1/3 cup measures of everything but the kitchen sink. Then you have to shell, toast, fry, drain, puree, and force through a fine mesh stainer every. single. one. of. them. Simmer each individually for 45 minutes, then combine, puree and strain again…. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much.

By the end it was pure stubbornness. It was going to be done! and I was not going to get up Monday morning to a kitchen full of pots, pans, strainers, and blenders covered in a film of orange chili oil!! nope. not going to happen.

It has been almost a week and I’m still tired just thinking about it. But I have enough homemade mole in my freezer to last…probably longer than I will want to keep eating it. And I can say I did it. I made mole from scratch, dried chilies, chocolate, nuts, seeds, berries, kitchen sink and all. (sigh)

recipe – only for the ambitious or those who can recruit a small army of sous chefs

Ugly Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolatecupcakesI didn’t want to leave my house last night but I wanted to cook something…because it relaxes me. So I made chocolate cupcakes. This is kind of dumb because I don’t really like cake. I only made half a batch and I did eat a couple but now I still have 10 of them and I don’t want them. Also because I’m a lousy baker, they are kind of ugly.  I still only have dark chocolate cocoa so they look like they could be licorice cupcakes…yuck.

This may actually be the first time I’ve made chocolate cake. I’ve made other types of cake but not kind of standard chocolate. I also have made icing in the past but not frosting although as you can see from the photo that it did not work so well.

for love of a kitchen-aid mixer

kitchen aid mixerNow… I am not a big baker as I have mentioned before. It requires precise measurements which is not my forte. I also don’t really eat a lot of baked goods or sweets, so when I bake I have to force the final product on others or have them go to waste.

BUT I LOVE MY NEW KITCHEN-AID MIXER! Thanks Mom and Dad :)

It is almost as if before, when I said that I like to cook I was lying and now I tangible proof of my dedication to all things cooking and kitchen related. I just love the feeling of hefting it’s prodigious weight from the cabinet up to the counter. There will be lots of baking in the coming months so I hope no one in my office is on a diet.

For the maiden voyage I made Chocolate-Orange Biscotti. I like homemade biscotti, it always comes out a little more crumbly and less “hard as a rock” like the ones at Starbucks tend to be and I can make interesting flavors that aren’t coated in chocolate….of course this one does have chocolate in it.  I think I like the two step process als0; bake, slice, bake again. It seems like I get a chance to check in with it. Not like cheesecake or souffles, things that you have to kind of let go of and hope for the best. I always find I’m mangling the centers testing and trying to decide if they are done. Biscotti, you check in halfway through and you can easily tell if it is turning into biscotti or something… less than biscotti.biscotti

This most recent foray into baking and blogging has made tangible a few other deficiencies in available equipment. I find that I need to buy a new oven thermometer. I know I have problems with the temperature of my apartment oven but now it seems my thermometer, which I was using to try to manage this issue, is not giving me the right temp either…rats! Baking is a little difficult when you have no idea what the oven temperature actually is!!!

I also need to start researching the options for a new digital camera purchase because ye old iphone is just not cutting it. These pics are all horrible!

healthy cookies?

Baking stresses me out way more than cooking, you have to get everything right; measurements, temperatures, technique. I think that is why I tend to forget to take pictures or to blog.  I remembered this time.

As usual, people kept asking me if these where healthy cookies. Well… they are really just chocolate chunk cookies, so full of butter and sugar. Now, it is organic butter and sugar. Also this is the Kim Boyce recipe so it is all whole wheat flour.  So healthy? Yes. Low Calorie? No.

People seem to like them. I know I ate way too many of them.