Tag Archives: Easy

Melting Chocolate

10 Jun

Melting Chocolate:

Without  Fancy-Schmancy Stuff

Melting chocolate is one of those baking tasks that really isn’t that difficult. However, there are a few things that can go wrong, and also, we chaos kitchen girls have a few tricks that might make the job way easier for you.

Most importantly, you don’t need a double boiler. Honestly. No matter what any fancy-schmancy cookbook tells you, we promise you can do just fine without one. At least, for melting chocolate. We have heard rumors of things called, “vegetables” that need to be cooked in a double boiler, but we doubt these strange, “veggies” really exist.

We’ve certainly never seen one in OUR kitchen.

Anyways, what you need is a microwave and a microwave safe bowl.

And chocolate. (Duh)

How to Melt Chocolate:

1. Cut the chocolate into smaller pieces, using a large, sharp knife. Keep all the pieces about the same size. Keeping it all about the size of dice ensures a more even melting. Also, if you cut the chocolate too fine, its easy to lose some of it. Which would be very sad.

2. Put chocolate in microwave safe bowl, and then microwave it for one minute at medium heat. Pull bowl out, and stir. Even if the chocolate doesn’t look melted, try to stir it around. Sometimes the  bottom melts before the top.

3.  This time put the bowl back in for only thirty seconds, remove, and stir again. Remember, you don’t want your chocolate to boil, so always check to make sure it’s not getting too hot.

4. Repeat step three as necessary, until you have smooth, melted chocolate. Tada! No double boiler needed.

Final bits of advice.

-Keep water away from melting chocolate. Dry everything, spoon, bowl, your hands, before it touches chocolate. Water causes chocolate to “seize” which is fancy baker-people speak for…ugly non-melty chocolate.

-If you’re using those “chocolate” melting discs, first of all, you should know they are more waxy materials than chocolate, and secondly, the instructions are slightly different. Follow the directions on their packaging.

-If your microwave usually cooks very hot, reduce all time given in this advice by half.

-No matter how yummy it looks, don’t try and eat melted unsweetened chocolate. We both have. We then both drank a lot of  our favorite beverages. (C’s=coffee. K’s=milk. Why? What beverage were you thinking we keep on hand in the kitchen?)

-To chop chocolate, firm downwards pressure with a sharp knife works really well. Don’t saw back and forth.  That increases bits of chocolate dust, which makes a mess and makes it harder to microwave.

WRONG

RIGHT

Some of our Recipes that Use Melted Chocolate:

Marbled Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Cocoa Bombs

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

25 May

Devil Cookies

C Experiments with Cake Mix Cookies

C used to be a cross-country runner. In fact, going for runs is one of the only ways she can justify eating ten million baked goods per day. Well, that and blog research. See? She FORCES herself to eat TERRIBLE things just so you, dear readers, can see this blog. It’s a very, very difficult undertaking…suffering through all those pounds of chocolate and butter…it’s basically torture.

Anyways, this is not a post about running. This is a post about new places.

See, when C was a cross-country runner, she would always do much better on the courses she had run before. Running through a new 5-k, although fun, was always a little stressful, and the chance of taking a wrong turn was always higher.  And then there was the time her team got lost on top of a mountain…but we won’t talk about that.

Cooking in a new kitchen is a bit like that. C visited her friend, F, who offered to bake cookies with her. F didn’t realize what this entailed. You see, F is a normal human, who doesn’t like…well…chaos in her kitchen. F’s favorite cookies, in fact, are “cake mix cookies.” (These, in case you haven’t heard of them, are cookies made from a few quick alterations to the cake mix of your choice, saving you the hassle of combining flours and cocoa and whatnot.)

The idea of these cookies confused C for a bit as she is used to making things from scratch. Seriously, by the end of the year, C will probably try to make chocolate chips straight from the bean. So, adjustment one was a “cake mix cookie” recipe.

F has a lovely kitchen, including a really nice gas stove, and an awesome island-type thing with wheels. C kept pretending she was on a baking TV show. But, C is also used to an electric stove, which would cause problems in the baking of these cookies. Adjustment two was learning that the temperature of each side of the oven differed.

Also, F doesn’t believe in butter…or really even any sort of oil…and refuses to be converted to the buttery, greasy way of life.  (The fact that F puts up with C’s constant pestering is a testament to how awesome F is.) F recommends, instead of oil or butter, to always use applesauce. C almost died at the thought. So, that was adjustment three.

In short, these adjustments, well, led C to be lost in the woods, er, the kitchen, where F had to console her and promise that by the third pan into the oven the cookies would be fine. And they were. Granted, they were bright red and VERY sweet, but C survived a new kitchen, and now has a simple, yummy recipe under her belt.

DEVIL COOKIES

(Red Velvet Chocolate Chips Cookies)

Preheat oven to 350°.

1 box Red Velvet cake mix

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce)

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla, and mix, until about the consistency of thick brownie batter. The red color will be very vivid. Don’t be scared. Stir in chocolate chips.

They Are Redder Than the Bowl, Seriously.

Chill for 2 hours.
Roll into small balls and bake at 350° for 6-8 minutes. These cookies will spread.  A lot. So be prepared, and make sure to have your cooling rack ready.

Makes about 30 cookies. Unless you’re C…and you ruin the first two batches. Please, don’t be like C. At least in this. She’s a lovely role model for life goals such as procrastination and learning the words to every song ever on the radio.

Devil Cookies!

C’s Rating: 2/5 stars. Very sweet…much like a cake, (obvi) but not a very intense flavor. Plus. The idea of a cake mix cookie put her into shock.

Guest Rater-F’s Rating: 3/5.  Difficult to roll into balls, and not a mind-blowing taste.

Simple Chocolate Glaze

23 May

To call this a glaze doesn’t really do it justice. When we hear glaze, we think of the clear, sweet topping poured on donuts and other breakfast desserts.

This glaze, on the other hand, is thick and chocolaty, almost like straight melted chocolate-with a little more “binding” ability that makes it perfect for cookie sandwiches.

In fact, C calls it an “easy ganache,” which isn’t a bad way to think of it.

Part 2

Ingredients:

Unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

Semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Unsalted butter

Strained confectioners’ sugar, spooned in and leveled

Boiling water, plus additional as needed

Light corn syrup

Pure vanilla extract

Melt the chocolates and butter in a shallow bowl set over simmering water, stirring until smooth.  Remove from the heat and add the sugar alternately with the water.  Stir in the corn syrup and vanilla.  Beat well with a wooden spoon.

Cake Balls

13 May

If you read any baking blogs, we’re sure you’ve heard about these treats. Little balls of rich cake, on a stick? Even starbucks is making them now. We also jumped on this bandwagon, using  two boxes of the Duncan Hines cupcake mixes, because K voted for chocolate cake, and C voted for funfetti ( she’s about seven years old on the inside. She will fight you if you say that you can’t taste the sprinkled fun in funfetti.)

We also made homemade cream cheese frosting, but any kind of frosting, homemade or not, works. If you haven’t gotten the point yet, this is a very flexible recipe.

Some kind of cake+Some kind of frosting+chocolate coating=cake balls

Recipe follows

Continue reading