Chocoholics Beware: Budino

I happened across a neat book of recipes for chocolate, my only complaints are that the pictures are not close to the recipes, necessitating page flipping... but so far the recipes are great!

Like usual, I adapted the recipe to suit what I had on hand, considering it was late at night and I just craved chocolate. These things are brownie meets fudge meets pudding and upon one bite I decided my next party pleaser. They taste even better cold out of the fridge (who knew?!) as the pudding part solidifies. Get a buddy to help you with part 1 or 2 and it will go quick!

Part One: Chocolate and Double-Boiler

Chop up 6 ounces of chocolate (melts easier that way) and add it to a double boiler set up with 1 stick of butter. You are going to melt the chocolate-butter over boiling water. The whole point of this tedious method is to avoid burning chocolate. Stir it too. Once the chocolate mixture is homogenous, remove from heat, and add 1 TB all-purpose flour and 1.5 TB vanilla or liquor of choice.

Part Two: Beating Eggs and Stuff

Beat 3 eggs, 2/3 C sugar, a pinch of salt at high speed. It will take a while ( 5 minutes?) to get it looking like thick yellow pudding that is lighter than what you started with. Don't overbeat or you lose the volume from the eggs.

Hopefully your chocolate is cooler now (don't want to cook the eggs). In a further effort to not cook the eggs (yet), fold a bit of the eggs (part 2) into the chocolate (part 1). I've heard this raises the temperature slowly which prevents cooking.

Then dump all of it into the bowl with the eggs. Blend carefully but get it all mixed.

Spoon the mixture into 6 ramekins (oven safe individual cups), and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. It will seem undercooked, this is fine. If you overcook, you loose the texture and sinuous chocolate flavor.

You can bake in a regular baking pan, but it becomes more of a brownie, you need the ramekins to get the crispy exterior and gooey interior.

(Thanks Chris for more beautiful photography!)

Breadsticks with GARLIC!

I have been on a library cookbook binge lately and enjoying this book...

I did a variation on a recipe there to get these breadsticks. The dough is perfect to handle, nice and stretchy (didn't even need a rolling pin!) and I made a garlic-butter-herb paste that was smelly but fantastic.
Combine and let the yeast get foamy (if it doesn't, then your yeast is bad, get new stuff and start over):
1/4 C warm water (should fell warm to your finger, not "hot")
3/4 tea sugar
2.25 tea yeast

Whisk together in a bigger bowl:
2.25 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole-wheat bread flour (or anything with high gluten content)
3/4 tea salt

Then add and knead:
yeast mixture
little less than 1 C cold water (you can put ice cubes in it when you start the recipe)
couple gobs olive oil ( 2 TBs ?)

Let the dough rise in warm place for 45 minutes to an hour, and by warm you should be able to hold your hand against the surface (i.e. if you put in the oven).

I used my food processor to make a butter-oil-garlic-herb spread:
6-9 cloves garlic
1.5 TB basil
1 Tb oregano
1 TB rosemary
2 tea thyme
1 tea salt
pepper flakes or something spicy, not too much
2 TB butter
olive oil as needed

Once the dough has risen, you can spread it out in a large rectangle and spread your smelly herb-garlic paste over it, then sprinkling a generous amount of meltable cheese ( 2 cups?). I like to fold the dough in half over itself, seal in the goodies, then cut into strips with a pizza cutter. These strips are easy to twist and place on a baking sheet, then let rise again (30minutes?).

Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Delish with marinara sauce (my suggestion is Trader Joe's Three Cheese Marinara, ooooo!)


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

As my friend L says, "here are my delicious cookies!! AREN'T you jealous!!!"

Cucumber Salad and more

While whipping up a quick curry (fried tofu + broccoli + Trader Joe's Punjab Curry Sauce on rice), I spied cucumber and radishes in the fridge and thought, hey!

Tammy's Cucumber-Radish Salad
Combine in a bowl:
4 radishes, sliced thin
1 cucumber, diced

2 TB fresh mint leaves, chopped

Add the dressing after mixing:
1 TB apple cider vinegar
1 TB brown sugar
pinch of black pepper
1.5- 2 TB lemon juice