So originally, I was going to write about songs I love/d that I can’t really enjoy anymore. (FYI, Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be” for gender role reasons, Four Seasons’ “Big Girls Don’t Cry” for narrative reasons, and Five’s “When the Lights Go Out” for being a little rapey.) As I was plotting it in my head, it got a little preachy and repetitive, plus I wasn’t motivated to finish it. So goodbye songs, hello baking!
Now baking isn’t really a nostalgia thing. I still bake. I bake all the time. I don’t really have any heartwarming childhood stories about baking and passing down family recipes. Traditions-wise, I only have sprinkling sugar on the Chanukah cookies and making hamantaschen. But my initial afternoon plans (finishing season 1 of Elementary and watching some combination of The Bourne Legacy, Despicable Me, and Monsters, Inc.) were interrupted by my brother’s birthday (Happy Birthday, bro!) and the need to make some baked goods to send him (due to Jewish holidays falling out as they did and his birthday being a Sunday, we would have had to bake too early for him to get them on his birthday and have them taste good) meant my afternoon became baking a fudge brownie torte. And now you get pictures of my creations.
So my first baking adventure, was making these Double Fudge Banana Muffins that I discovered on Pinterest for breakfast. I was going to whip up some Sticky Fingers Bakery Cocoa Chocolate Scone Mix, but then I remembered this recipe and that I had all the ingredients for it. The most appealing thing for me was not that each muffin is apparently only 100 calories, but that it’s easily made pareve (non-dairy.) My family keeps a kosher house, so most of the baking supplies are not supposed to have dairy in them (since most baking is for meal with meat.) This is a huge boon for me.
They turned out a lot better than I expected. When they’re warm, the chocolate chips are gooey, and when they’re room temperature, the muffin is a nice, rich flavor. I suspect these are going to become a grab and go breakfast for me.
My other creation today was the Fudge Brownie Torte from Kosher By Design Lightens Up by Susie Fishbein (Sorry about the picture, it’s straight out of the oven.) I’m not going to type out the recipe, it’s a little involve, but if you want it, I will. Kosher by design is a great series of cookbooks for those looking for kosher options. This recipe can be pareve or dairy, but for the reasons stated above, I usually bake pareve. This is the fourth time I’ve made this (because my complicated baking happens at the High Holidays, and then I’m left with a container of non-dairy sour cream …), and I was going to make two today (one for my brother and one for the ladies I volunteer with), but as I said it’s involved, has three things going at once, and I still make a mess with it. So I’ll make the second in a couple of days.
Back to the actual torte, it’s chocolatey. I like to say that it uses three kinds of chocolate: chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, and good semi-sweet chocolate. I actually used the Scharffen Berger Baking Bar, Bittersweet Dark Chocolate instead, because it was cheaper at Whole Foods than the semi-sweet one. Each torte uses a fifth of the bar, so my next one will finally use it up. The torte is the perfect mixture between the fudgy brownies and cake brownies, with a nice density and more cakey texture. The recipe recommends serving with whip cream and strawberries, but I find ice cream (real or non-dairy works great.)
Got any great recipes to share? Leave them in the comments. I’m a chocoholic (if you didn’t guess,) so that’s always good.