Friday, March 19, 2010

Brownies to welcome Spring

Spring Bouquet

As Spring approaches, I feel happiness and excitement. I love the sunshine during this time of the year, not very hot, just the right amount of heat you need to feel good and enjoy the joyful weather. Spring puts a smile on my face. For me, it is the most wonderful time of the year!

Cream Cheese Swirl & Raspberry Brownies

Although for me brownies rhyme with winter, comfort food...etc and despite the weather these days that says "winter is over", I wanted  brownies! I haven't made them for some time, and I guess I missed their chocolaty goodness.

I made and ate my first brownie when I came to the US, ten years ago. Of course I heard about them before, but due to French cooking influence, brownies have never been on my to do list. In some of my French cookbooks, brownies are found under the title: "The American Specialty" and somehow, I always felt it was too adventurous to try them, plus it always calls for a lot of chocolate! Now, I am glad I made this sweet discovery. It is for sure a part of my repertoire.


I just want to mention that I made half the recipe in my 8 by 8 cake pan, that's why my brownies are kind of flat. But it worked fine for me because they were lighter (not calorie wise though!)

3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
300 g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

1- Preheat the oven to 375. Grease an 8 by 8 square cake pan. line with foil and set aside.
2- Combine the chocolate, butter and instant coffee and melt over a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
3- Whisk the eggs and the sugars until well combined. Add the vanilla extract. Whisk in the melted chocolate.
5- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the nuts if using.
6- Put the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let the brownies cool completely before cutting.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Make a wish...

Red Velvet Cakes

This post is a bit different because it has no recipe. I am indeed using this post as a detox, a confession, something that I want to talk about and found nobody to listen but that screen and typing board and of course you! It started when I was looking at some food blogs that I always liked and admired and still do. The kind of sites full of amazing pictures, stories and wonderful recipes. They catch your eyes with their beautifully captured and meticulously arranged images. The blogger tells Beautiful stories that are simple yet they keep you stuck to the screen until the end. Some of the amazing ones get even the privilege to be nominated for different awards, like the one organized by Saveur Magazine lately.  I so envy everyone who is nominated and wish them the best of luck because some of these blogs are just gorgeous, and deserve the best awards!

when I started this blog, I wanted to create something sophisticated, original and most importantly, I wanted to establish a reference. what I ended up with?? just "a blog". My heart aches every time I think about it. I am around here once every one or two months. I am a perfectionist, and due to lack of time and never ending family demands, I find my self very limited and having only two choices : either do nothing, or just do whatever! snap a pic before one of the kids wants his afternoon snack, or needs help with homework, then the husband asks about lunch or dinner while your head is thinking about that mousse cake topped with a glossy fruit jelly,a chocolate decoration using the transfer sheet I was so excited to buy from Sur La Table (my heaven!) and never got the chance to use yet, and wait the cake should stay in the fridge overnight......ahh!! will I have time tomorrow to...even remember the existence of that cake?!!


At the end I have to say that because of you, followers, that this blog is surviving. It is through your sweet comments and encouragement that I get the strength to come back and post again, even once in a trimester. I want to tell everyone who appreciates my very little work, Thank you!!!.I, on my side, still have hope to make this blog a perfect day :)