The rabble demands chocolate. No more red velvet cake (which does have a bit of cocoa in it), no more orange walnut or tres leches. Chocolate as in a chocolate hazelnut meringue-topped truffle cake that is my mom’s designated birthday cake. Alas, they are NOT getting that anytime soon.
Yesterday afternoon I completely conked out once I returned home, post-lunch in Old Town Alexandria with a good friend and former colleague from my medical association days. We went to Brabo’s Tasting Room and I had the best prosciutto/mozarella/basil flatbread aka brick-oven crisp pizza followed by a braised-in-olive-oil tuna and cannellini bean salad with arugula– all washed down with a zesty Riesling.
I guess my body was just tired and telling me to slow down– I slept from the afternoon til about 9P! The guys were left to fend for themselves for dinner, and when I finally found them in the man-cave, they were watching Project Runway (a long-term addiction of theirs which I find a hilarious counterpoint to their Skyrim gaming). I was actually able to fall asleep by 1AM, even after that long, long nap.
Today I had a downtown lunch with my sister Tina and our childhood friend Amy. Amy’s well on her way to becoming a master quilter; she showed me her sampler squares from her latest quilting class and they were impressive (I should have taken pictures to post here)! We had a long leisurely meal; Amy bought me a beautiful dolphin charm for my Pandora bracelet that the mommy dinner group put together for me. I packaged up some orange walnut cake and tres leches for her…and some for Tina and mommy gal pal Jacki who lives out by my sister.
We ended up ordering Chinese after Ken turned down my offer of pasta puttanesca (“ANCHOVIES! OLIVES! GROSS!”), but I was still full from lunch so I just had a bit of hot and sour soup. While we were eating, I said I’d make some brownies and Ken’s face lit up immediately. “Let me know when you’re done making the batter; I want the spoon and bowl!” The raw thing creeps me out, but he’s also one of those raw cookie dough ice cream fans– YUCK.
I use a recipe from Sur La Table that was added as an insert to a random purchase I made years ago. I don’t have the card anymore, but I typed up the recipe. It is my family’s favorite “plain” brownie recipe. They bake up moister than cake, chewy but not densely fudgy. Let the brownies cool before you attempt to slice them; they’ll keep their edges better if you do.
Chocolate Chip Brownies (adapted from Sur La Table insert)
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I use Baker’s)
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (Baker’s)
- 1 c sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 c AP flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 c milk chocolate chips (or semi– I use milk because of Ken)
There are just a few ingredients:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
Using a double boiler (or heat-proof bowl over not quite simmering water), melt butter and chocolate together, stirring until smooth and shiny. (In my photos, I’m using just one pot because I have a low-BTU burner that allows me to melt chocolate directly in a pan).
Remove from heat and gradually whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat thoroughly after each addition.
Whisk in the vanilla.
Whisk or stir in the salt and all but about a tablespoon of flour.
Toss the chocolate chips with the tablespoon of flour; the flour coating prevents the chips from sinking to the bottom of the pan when baking. Stir the chips into the batter.
Pour the batter in to the prepared pan (you’ll need a spatula to scrape everything out) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE.
The surface will be very shiny. If you insert a cake tester into the middle, there should be a few crumbs sticking to the tester. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
When cool, cut into squares.