Sunday, 18 July 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough And Peanut Butter Brownies

And finally my pudding. Actually made these to take to work tomorrow but I couldn't resist eating one now.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Peanut Butter Brownies

I've made these before but never with peanut butter. I have to say they didn't turn out quite as well as they have previously, cos I managed to burn the brownie base, and I think I should have used self raising flour as they are really dense. They're still damn tasty, though.
Recipe taken from the amazing One Ordinary Day blog (seriously, check it out), and modified. N.B. Her units are American (i.e. in cups) so I have put them into metric, and have rounded to more sensible amounts when required.

225g butter
100g cocoa
450g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
160g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate, broken up
2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
Cookie Dough
225g butter
220g light brown sugar
100g granulated sugar
4 tbsp milk
2tsp vanilla extract
260g all-purpose flour
200g dark chocolate, broken up
1 tbsp peanut butter
Chocolate Glaze
200g dark chocolate
1tbsp butter

1. Prepare 13x9" baking tray by laying a sheet of non-stick paper across the bottom and up the sides. Alternatively spray with cooking spray or wipe with butter.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add the cocoa, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
3. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla, and beat with a spoon until combined. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
4. Stir in the chocolate chunks and peanut butter, and spread into the baking tray.
5. Bake at 170 degrees for 25 minutes, or until fully cooked (gauged by putting a skewer into the middle and if it comes out clean they're done). Allow to cool completely before moving on to next step.
Cookie Dough
6. Combine the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, milk and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and cream together. Add the flour and peanut butter and stir until combined.  Stir in the broken up dark chocolate. 
7. Spread the cookie dough mixture in an even layer on top of the cooled brownies. Chill before adding the chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
8. Melt the chocolate with the butter and stir until smooth. Spread over the chilled cookie dough layer.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: Makes approx. 48 squares
Cals/serving: far too many!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Rice Balls

So here is course 2:

Mozzarella-Stuffed Rice Balls

I tend to love anything with the words 'mozzarella' and 'fried' in their description, so deep-fried mozzarella rice balls sounded ace. They were tricky (and messy) to make but taste awesome. I found the measurements to be a bit off in the recipe, and this was left with WAY too much mozzarella at the end (although I guess I could have stuffed each ball with a bigger cube of cheese...) I had five large rice balls and was left VERY full, so you could easily modify the portion size to suit.
Yet again from Good Housekeeping Step-By-Step Vegetarian Cookbook.

1 red onion
75g butter
150ml dry white wine
275g Arborio rice
1 litre vegetable stock
salt and pepper
25g parmesan cheese (it says freshly grated, but I used a pre-grated bag)
To Finish
2 eggs, beaten
125g mozzarella cheese
small basil leaves (one per rice ball)
125g dried white breadcrumbs (I bought a cheap ciabatta roll which was slight stale and put it through the blender)
oil, for deep frying

1. To make the risotto, peel and finely chop the onion. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Pour in the wine and boil rapidly until almost totally reduced. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter and wine.
2. Add a ladleful of stock and simmer, stirring, until absorbed. Continue adding stock ladle by ladle until the rice is tender and creamy but still has some bite to it; this should take about 20 minutes. Make sure each addition of stock is absorbed before adding the next. (You may not need to use all of the stock).
3. Season generously and stir in the Parmesan. Allow to cool completely (it was at this point I finished cooking and ate my soup). Beat the eggs into the cold risotto. Cut the mozzarella into small cubes (one for each rice ball you plan to make).
4. With moistened hands, take 1 tbsp risotto and spread in the palm of one hand. Lay a small basil leaf and a cube of mozzarella in the middle.
5. Take another 1 tbsp of risotto and place over the mozzarella and basil to enclose. Shape into a smooth ball. Repeat to make about 16 in total (depending on the size of the balls - I made 13)
6. Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Roll the rice balls in the breadcrumbs until evenly covered. (I did step 5 and 6 together for each ball as they were made, as I found they held their shape on the plate better if they were covered in breadcrumbs)
7. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 180 degrees or until a crumb dropped in sizzles immediately. (As I do not have a deep-fryer nor a thermometer I filled a medium sized deep saucepan with oil and tested it with a crumb prior to frying). Fry the rice balls, a few at a time for 3-5 minutes, until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper, sprinkle with salt to taste and keep hot while cooking the remainder. Serve immediately.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4
Cals/serving: 765

I made 13 balls in total and only fried what I was going to eat there and then. You can store the unfried rice balls in the fridge and simply fry them up for a quick and easy snack later.

Sweet Potato and Cumin Soup

As I had the day off work and nothing to do I decided to make lots and lots of food. Then I figured if I'm going to make food, why not blog about it. I'm making multiple dishes (including some kick-ass brownies to finish), and blogging while I eat them. So here is post number one:

Sweet Potato and Cumin Soup

I love sweet potato, and cumin is my favourite spice, so this soup is perfect for me. It's really easy to make, although you do need a food processor or blender which I didn't realise. Cue me searching frantically around the kitchen while the soup is merrily bubbling away. This is an adapted recipe from Good Housekeeping Step-By-Step Vegetarian Cookbook however I have added in some chorizo I had in the fridge so it's not veggie anymore (obviously you could miss this step out).

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
575g peeled potatoes (I used unpeeled Vivaldi potatoes which worked out great)
350g peeled sweet potatoes
1.2 litres hot vegetable stock
30g cooked chorizo, torn (optional step - I used the stuff you get for sandwiches from the supermarket)
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh corainder (due an intense dislike of coriander, I used fresh basil instead)
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil to serve

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and cumin and fry gently for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, dice all of the potatoes (sweet and normal). Add them to the pan and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. (It says in the recipe to do this until they are lightly browned. If you're using a reasonably small saucepan like me you won't get any browning but if they're hot and covered in the flavoured oil for about 5 minutes that's fine).
3. Add the stock (plus the chorizo if desired), bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (if you can find the lid for the pan, that is...). Transfer the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
4. Pour the soup into a clean pan and return to the boil (I used the same pan, as I begrudge the extra washing up).  Stir in the coriander (or basil) and simmer gently for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup at once, drizzled with olive oil.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6-8
Cals/serving: 165-125 (not including the chorizo)

I just finished the soup and it was fantastic. I've never had it without the chorizo, but I feel it really adds a wonderful spicy flavour. You could get a similar effect without the meat by adding paprika.

Second course is halfway through - see you soon...